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Booker on 2020 strategy: Don't 'fight fire with fire'
02:00 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday will outline executive actions he would take if elected to protect abortion rights, including creating a White House Office of Reproductive Freedom to oversee his administration’s efforts.

Booker would also undo changes by President Donald Trump’s administration that relaxed contraception requirements under the Affordable Care Act, and he would roll back the White House’s proposed “conscience rule” allowing health care providers to refuse abortion procedures on religious grounds.

The proposals come in light of what Booker calls a “coordinated attack” by Republican lawmakers in Georgia, Alabama and elsewhere to limit access to abortions – which have thrust the issue into the center of the 2020 campaign conversation.

“A coordinated attack requires a coordinated response,” Booker said in a statement. “That’s why on day one of my presidency, I will immediately and decisively take executive action to respond to these relentless efforts to erode Americans’ rights to control their own bodies.”

Recent moves by state lawmakers to effectively ban abortion in Alabama have sparked an outcry from Democrats, including those running for president. Half a dozen Democratic presidential candidates, including Booker, spoke Tuesday at a pro-abortion rights rally in front of the Supreme Court.

Alabama’s abortion ban even drew a series of disapproving tweets from Trump, who tweeted over the weekend without naming the law that he supports exceptions for rape or incest.

Booker, like many of his colleagues running for president, has called for codifying the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortions across the country – something that would require approval from Congress. He has also pledged to nominate judges who would not vote to overturn Roe. v. Wade.

In his new plan, Booker further calls for restoring Medicaid funding for abortions by striking the Hyde Amendment, another change that would need Congressional authorization.

But with his proposed executive actions, Booker is signaling that abortion rights would be a priority of his administration, whether or not Congress agrees with his approach.

“My goal with these actions isn’t just to undo the damage the Trump administration and Republican state legislatures and governors have caused,” Booker said, “but to affirmatively advance reproductive rights and expand access to reproductive care for all.”