Efforts against abortion rights have been front and center in the news throughout recent months thanks to Republicans in an array of states who’ve pushed anti-abortion legislation and the Trump administration’s own similar efforts. Now, Planned Parenthood is fighting back. This Wednesday, they announced their largest ever electoral push, which has an “initial investment” of a full $45 million, which the group hopes to add to with donations. The campaign’s foremost priority will be helping defeat Donald Trump, and behind that, they’re also hoping to support Democrats maintaining control of the House and taking control of the Senate, an effort for which they need to flip four Republican-held seats for success.
The superPAC Planned Parenthood Votes’s Executive Director Kelley Robinson shared with NPR:
‘This year what we’re finding is that people really understand exactly what’s at stake. The stakes are higher than ever, and our donors and our supporters understand that very clearly.’
The clarity has come through means like those numerous state-level attempts at abortion bans and the Trump administration’s own new “gag rule” prohibiting federally funded health centers from referring women for abortion. That forced Planned Parenthood to recently withdraw from the federal Title X program, which is supposed to help provide health services to low-income women.
‘It’s clear that all these attacks have one goal: to undermine and to gut Roe v. Wade… We’ve built some serious grassroots power in the states with millions of new supporters signing up.’
The group’s 2020 campaign is going to focus on key states that are considered “must win” for Trump, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, a geographic span that includes some 5 million targeted voters. According to NPR, the effort “will include digital, television and radio ads rolling out later this year; direct mail; and voter canvassing beginning in 2020.”
On the other side of the issue, anti-abortion groups are already lining up behind the Trump 2020 campaign. The Pro-Life Action League’s Eric Scheidler mentioned to NPR “an effort to educate pastors about what’s allowed” in terms of encouraging their church members to vote, and the anti-abortion-rights group Susan B. Anthony List is already planning their own 2020 campaign spend of at least $41 million. That group’s leader Marjorie Dannenfelser explicitly acknowledged in a press release earlier this year that they maintain a goal to “aggressively challenge, erode, and finally, overturn Roe v. Wade.”
The issue of conservatives trying to overturn that landmark Supreme Court decision that established the right to an abortion across the United States has come up during Trump’s time in office before. When he nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, besides the concerns sparked by allegations of sexual misconduct, some also worried that he would vote to essentially overturn Roe v. Wade if given the chance.
It’s one of many issues at stake with the continued presence of Trump in office. Others include LGBTQ rights — which Trump has already worked against through means like banning transgender people from the military — and the basic human rights of immigrants in general and asylum seekers in particular.
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