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Democrats at SC Debate Got More Than $1.1M from Pro-Abortion Orgs

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AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Abortion continues to be a talking point among the Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination, and the debates are no exception. What's often left unsaid, however, is the amount of money linked to the abortion industry that the presidential candidates have received.


On February 27, CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute hosted the latest Democratic debate in Charleston, South Carolina. Seven presidential candidates appeared on stage: former Vice President Joe Biden, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and businessman Tom Steyer.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), which tracks financial giving to federal candidate, five of them – Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Warren, and Sanders – have received thousands of dollars throughout their careers from organizations that promote abortion. In 2020 alone, they received a combined total of $20,050 from Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and EMILY’s List. 

CRP compiles information released by the Federal Election Commission and “lists candidates receiving money” from various organizations. CRP stresses that the “organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families.” The totals listed for organizations may also “include subsidiaries and affiliates,” and the contributions must amount to $200 or more. 


In all, according to CRP data listed from 1990 to 2020, these candidates have received more than $1.1 million combined from those associated with EMILY’s List, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood.

So far in 2020, Biden has received a total of $1,140, with $965 from Planned Parenthood, $150 from NARAL, and $25 from EMILY’s List, according to CRP. This isn’t the first time he’s attracted their attention: In 2006, EMILY’s List gave him $500 and, in 2002, Planned Parenthood gave him the same amount.

For Buttigieg’s part, the former mayor has received a total of $4,550 in 2020, with the majority ($4,127) coming from Planned Parenthood. NARAL gave him $216 and $207 came from EMILY’s List.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has received less than Buttigieg in 2020 so far, with a total of $3,876, $3,360 of which came from Planned Parenthood, $511 from EMILY’s List, and $5 from NARAL. However, since 2006, she has received a total of $440,319 from the three abortion-supporting organizations.

In 2018, Klobuchar received $17,700 from Planned Parenthood and $13,449 from EMILY’s List. Two years before that, she got $1,250 from Planned Parenthood. She received another $594 from EMILY’s List in 2014. In 2012, she received $19,550 from EMILY’s List, $9,500 from Planned Parenthood, and $1,750 from NARAL. From Planned Parenthood, she got $1,500 in 2010, $500 in 2008 and $12,950 in 2006. In 2006, she also received a whopping $357,700 from EMILY’s List.


Turning to Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders has received $4,261 in 2020, with $4,142 from Planned Parenthood, $89 from NARAL, and $30 from EMILY’s List.

Two years earlier, Planned Parenthood gave him $3,390 and EMILY’s List gave $15. In 2016, he received $4,819 from Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood also gave $5,500, and NARAL gave $5,000, in 2012. In 2006, Sanders received $10,000 from NARAL and $2,450 from Planned Parenthood. Two years before that, he got $500 from Planned Parenthood, and, in 1998, he received $35 from them. NARAL gave $1,000 in 1996, $500 in 1994, and $1,000 in 1992.

Of all of the candidates, Sen. Warren boasts the most from the three organizations according to the data CRP makes public. In 2020, she received $6,223, with $4,117 from Planned Parenthood, $1,802 from EMILY’s List, and $304 from NARAL. 

For 2018, EMILY’s List gifted $128,432, NARAL gave $9,605, and Planned Parenthood offered $5,842. Two years before that, Planned Parenthood gave just $270. In 2012, EMILY’s List gave more than a half million dollars ($506,595), Planned Parenthood gave $16,492, and NARAL gave $10,500.

For these candidates, not all of the contributions they received went to presidential campaigns. Some of them, including ones made in 2020, went to Senate offices instead, according to CRP. Election years also influenced the contributions they received and the years that they received them.


From the numbers, one thing is clear: abortion supporters don’t seem to be hurting for money. And yet, all too often, they overlook the argument that each life, from the moment of conception, is unique, unrepeatable, and priceless.

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