South Carolina forum pushes abortion into 2020 spotlight

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Nearly every Democratic presidential candidate is addressing a Planned Parenthood Action Fund forum. It’s the campaign season’s first such event focused on abortion, an issue already roiling the packed filed of White House hopefuls.

Saturday’s event is happening on the sidelines of the South Carolina Democratic Convention, a pivotal gathering of the party faithful in the South’s first primary state.

As Republican-controlled legislatures have approved increasingly tough abortion restrictions, many of the Democratic presidential candidates are vowing to only nominate Supreme Court justices who consider the landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing the procedure as settled law.

But tensions still flare. Former Vice President Joe Biden long refused to oppose a congressional ban on using taxpayer money for abortions — only to recently reverse himself amid intense Democratic criticism.

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