Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate for the 2016 presidential elections, Bernie Sanders, stood his ground regarding his support for a Democratic mayoral candidate who veered away from what Democrats stand for — abortion. Sanders slammed the reports and criticisms after he expressed his support for the anti-abortion candidate.
Sanders joined Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello during a rally last week. Mello went against Republican incumbent Jean Stothert for the post. Democrats did not like the endorsement made by Sanders. In an interview on Sunday with "Face the Nation" on CBS, Sanders said he had to attend the rally because Native Americans, African Americans and the Latinos expressed they wanted Mello to be their new mayor. He added he hoped Mello will win the post.
Mello made his mark for being an activist against abortion despite being a Democrat. During his first year in the state legislature in Nebraska, he signed a bill mandating doctors performing abortions to offer women an ultrasound before the process, CNN shared.
Sanders also shared on "Face the Nation" that his support for Mello should not have been a debate because he himself is pro-choice. He countered that he still thinks there is a need to stop Republicans from defunding abortion, specifically Planned Parenthood.
Despite the explanation of Sanders on why he supported Mello during the rally, many still criticized his move. One of his critics, Ilyse Hogue, the president of National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) Pro-Choice America, said Sanders' support for Mello was politically stupid.
"Abortion access is not a 'single issue' or a 'social issue,'" Hogue said. "It is a proxy for women to have control over our lives, our family's lives, our economic well-being, our dignity, and human rights."
Since the U.S. Supreme Court recognized women's constitutional right to abortion in the famous Roe V. Wade 1973 ruling, there have been different amendments of the laws in abortion in the different states of the country. Nebraska, however, is one of the few states that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Newsmax reported.
After they implemented such law in Nebraska, the number of abortions decreased by eight percent. The state also required a waiting period of 24 hours before a woman could undergo an abortion and must undergo a consulting session regarding the physical and psychological risks of the procedure.
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