“Abortion rights are going to play a huge role in this election,” Jenny Lawson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, the group’s political action committee, told The Washington Post. “The stakes have really, really never been higher.”
Lawson said Planned Parenthood will initially focus on nine states — Georgia, Nevada, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Michigan and Wisconsin — where gubernatorial or ballot races could determine access to abortion at the state or federal level. For example, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan currently have Democratic governors who blocked their Republican-led state legislatures from enacting statewide abortion restrictions.
Many of those states, like Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, also have competitive Senate races that could determine which party controls the chamber.
“They are part of the way to [Democrats] hold down the Senate and stop proponents of abortion from passing a national abortion ban, which they’ve said they want to do,” Lawson said.
While Republicans have generally welcomed the reversal of the decision deermany are focusing their messaging on economic issues ahead of the midterm elections.
Planned Parenthood’s medium-term efforts and investments, launched as the Take Control program, will take shape in the form of voter engagement, volunteer and paid canvassing, telephone and SMS banking, and advertising. The group will also launch organizing programs run by and for youth of color. Local family planning policy and advocacy groups in Colorado, California, Maine, Ohio and Florida “will also be running strong campaign trails,” the group said in a statement.
The Associated Press first reported on Planned Parenthood’s election plans.
Abortion is now prohibited in these states. See where the laws have changed.
More than a dozen states had “trigger laws” restricting or prohibiting abortion that were to take effect after deer was overthrown. These laws went into effect immediately in at least eight of those states, and several more are in various legal limbos. Earlier this month, Indiana passed a near-total abortion ban, the first to do so after deer was struck down.
“When people go to vote in November, nearly half of them will be living in a state that has either already banned abortion or is rapidly moving in that direction,” Lawson said. “We are facing a very serious national abortion crisis that people are feeling and reading about and witnessing every day the very real impact and devastation. And abortion is going to be a priority and is a priority for many voters.
Planned Parenthood’s previous record was a $45 million investment in the 2020 election cycle. In 2018, Planned Parenthood spent $20 million in efforts to elect abortion rights supporters and protect reproductive rights , a figure more in line with the group’s spending in a midterm election year.
Lawson said Planned Parenthood had always planned to invest a “significant” amount in this year’s midterm elections, particularly after a draft Supreme Court opinion leaked in May suggesting the High Court was prepared to quash Deer. Earlier this month, Kansas voters strongly rejected a referendum that would have allowed state lawmakers to regulate abortion, the first time state voters have decided on such an amendment since deer was overthrown.
Lawson said Planned Parenthood leaders had heard anecdotal reports of “energy, anger and outrage” from organizers on the ground in Kansas ahead of the vote, but said the “skyrocketing turnout” was even surprising. for her. Data showed surge in women registering to vote in Kansas after Supreme Court overturning draft opinion leaked in May deer. There was a second surge in June after the court ruling was released, when the fraction of newly registered voters who were women jumped to 70%.
“Kansas is a fabulous data point showing that voters are angry, they’re ready to come out in droves, they’re ready to vote in the election to vote for their values, and they overwhelmingly reject the idea that banning abortion should take place in the states,” Lawson said. “It was just the beginning, and it proves that voters are energized and motivated to take control as a whole. Kansas was therefore validating and exciting and a step in our journey forward.
Lenny Bronner contributed to this report.