Kirsten Gillibrand on Abortion

Last Updated : Nov 10, 2010


Senator Gillibrand is strongly pro-choice. She has stated that she is committed to always protecting a woman's right to choose, and that a woman's medical decisions should be between her, her family and her doctor, not Washington politicians. She supports increased access to medically accurate sex education and affordable contraception. She states that she supports Roe vs Wade and that the government should not be involved in the decision.

On her campaign website, official website, and in press statements, Senator Gillibrand has touted her 100% ratings from the National Organization for Women (NOW), Planned Parenthood, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. 

During the 2009 health care reform legislation, Senator Gillibrand was a vocal opponent to the Stupak amendment, which claimed to prevent federal funds for being used for abortions. In responding to the amendment, Senator Gillibrand said that a lack of access to full reproductive health care puts the lives of women and girls at grave risk. She stated that the measure poses greater restrictions on low-income women and those who are more likely to receive some kind of subsidy and less likely to be able to afford a supplemental insurance policy. Senator Gillibrand held that the practice of preventing any plan that accepted people getting government subsidies from covering abortions was discriminative because it prevented people who wanted to purchase that same plan (plus abortion coverage) with their own money.


Pro-Choice Ratings

In April of 2009, Senator Gillibrand issued a press statement noting her opposition to the "conscience clause". The press statement also cited Senator Gillibrand's ratings from pro-choice groups.


Opposition to the Stupak Amendment

In November of 2009, Senator Gillibrand released a press statement noting her opposition to the Stupak amendment in the House version of the health care reform legislation. Days later, Senator Gillibrand issued a similar statement repeating these assertions.



Campaign Question

As part of the 2010 campaign, Senator Gillibrand responds to a question as to whether or not she is pro-choice. She states that she is indeed pro-choice. She states that she supports Roe vs Wade and that the federal government should not be involved in those decisions.


Official Website Statements


Campaign Website Statements


Voting Record

Amendment - Funds to coercive abortions

On March 2, 2009, Senator Wicker submitted amendment SA 607. The amendment was made to the omnibus appropriations act for fiscal year 2009, and it sought to ensure that money which was sent to the United Nations from the US was not used in programs the sought to limit populations through forced sterilization or coercive abortion. The amendment specifically mentions the programs in China. Most Republicans supported the amendment and most Democrats opposed it. The amendment failed 55-39. Kirsten Gillibrand voted against the amendment to prevent aid funds from being used for coercive abortions.

Kirsten Gillibrand voted against the amendment to prevent aid funds from being used for coercive abortions.


Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 611; Responsible Education About Life Act - Cosponsor

Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to states for sex education programs, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Expresses the sense of Congress that states are encouraged, although not required, to provide matching funds to receive such grants. Requires the Secretary to provide for a national evaluation of a representative sample of such programs for effectiveness in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse and other high-risk behaviors, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and increasing contraceptive knowledge and behavior. Requires states receiving such grants to provide for an individual evaluation of the state's program by an external, independent entity. Prohibits such programs from discriminating on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 1415; Access to Birth Control Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Public Health Service Act to require pharmacies to comply with certain rules related to contraceptives, including: (1) providing a customer a contraceptive without delay if it is in stock; (2) immediately informing a customer if the contraceptive is not in stock and either transferring the prescription to a pharmacy that has the contraceptive in stock or expediting the ordering of the contraceptive and notifying the customer when it arrives, based on customer preference, except for pharmacies that do not ordinarily stock contraceptives in the normal course of business; and (3) ensuring that pharmacy employees do not take certain actions relating to a request for contraception, including intimidating, threatening, or harassing customers, interfering with or obstructing the delivery of services, intentionally misrepresenting or deceiving customers about the availability of contraception or its mechanism of action, breaching or threatening to breach medical confidentiality, or refusing to return a valid, lawful prescription. Provides that a pharmacy is not prohibited from refusing to provide a contraceptive to a customer if: (1) it is unlawful to dispense the contraceptive to the customer without a valid, lawful prescription and no such prescription is presented; (2) the customer is unable to pay for the contraceptive; or (3) the employee of the pharmacy refuses to provide the contraceptive on the basis of a professional clinical judgment. Provides that this Act does not preempt state law or any professional obligation of a state board that provides greater protections for customers. Sets forth civil penalties and establishes a a private cause of action for violations of this Act.

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