Planned Parenthood Action Fund will host a forum on reproductive rights for Democratic primary candidates in what is the first event focused solely on women’s health for several presidential campaign cycles.
The forum will take place in Columbia, South Carolina on 22 June, the weekend of the state Democratic Party's convention.
Sixteen candidates have already agreed to participate, the New York Times reports, with more expected to join.
Candidates will be questioned for 15 minutes each about their record and current positions on issues such as abortion rights, access to healthcare, and contraception.
Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker have all agreed to join the forum, along with Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Mr Biden recently received immediate backlash from within his own party for what are considered outdated views on the Hyde Amendment, which limits abortion access. He has also consistently made sexist remarks, particularly towards young girls, along the campaign trail, creating much conversation around whether or not his views towards women’s equality are up to modern standards.
Organisers said the forum, which will be live-streamed on Now This News, aims to energise Planned Parenthood’s own supporters as much as it questions candidates directly.
“It’s crystal clear that access to reproductive health care — including safe, legal abortion — is a top issue heading into 2020,” said Kelley Robinson, the group’s executive director, referring to the sweep of attempts to overturn Roe v Wade seen in conservative state legislatures.
“If the 13 million-plus Planned Parenthood supporters turn out to the polls and activate their networks,” she said, “they can tip the 2020 election.”