Planned Parenthood Commits $45M To 2020 Elections

Jan 17, 2020

Kaiser Health News – Planned Parenthood announced it will spend $45 million to fund canvassing and grassroots operations for the 2020 election, along with digital and TV ads in nine key states.

“Our country is at a crossroads, but now it’s time for us to reclaim our power,” said Jenny Lawson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes.

Meanwhile, Susan B. Anthony List and its affiliated super PAC will launch a $52 million effort to reelect President Donald Trump, who scored big victories for the anti-abortion movement during his time in office.

The Hill: Planned Parenthood Launches $45M Campaign To Back Democrats In 2020

Planned Parenthood will spend $45 million on the 2020 elections, the nonprofit’s biggest electoral expenditure in its history, according to CBS News. The money will go toward the presidential election as well as congressional and state House races, according to Planned Parenthood Votes Executive Director Jenny Lawson, who told CBS, “The stakes have never been higher.”

The Trump administration, she told CBS, “has managed to undo so much over the last three years … the fact that this summer the Supreme Court might gut Roe v. Wade is an indicator of their intention and they’ve never been so bold.” (Budryk, 1/16)

CNBC: Planned Parenthood To Spend $45 Million In 2020 Elections

“For too long, politicians in power have stood on the wrong side of the people,” said Jenny Lawson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, the organization’s super PAC that is behind the push.

“From the wave of abortion bans to the gutting of affordable birth control programs to the confirmation of anti-abortion judges, the attacks on our health and rights from Trump and his buddies in Congress have been unprecedented.” (Dzhanova, 1/16)

CBS News: Planned Parenthood Announces $45 Million Investment In 2020 Elections Today

Planned Parenthood’s electoral efforts — which the group has dubbed “We Decide 2020” — hope to reach five million voters in nine battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. A spokesperson for the organization said this week was the “official start” to the strategy.

The investment intends to fund large-scale grassroots programs and canvassing, digital, television, and radio and mail programs, according to Planned Parenthood. Just this week, the organization and its affiliated political organizations have hosted over 60 events, according to a Planned Parenthood spokesperson. (Smith, 1/16)

Fox News: Planned Parenthood Launches 2020 Initiative With Endorsements, 5-Figure Ad Buy

The unprecedented spending likely came in response to a wave of state-level laws restricting abortion in addition to what pro-choice advocates say is a serious assault on the organization. Pro-life activists have claimed they are literally trying to save lives by imposing restrictions like the heartbeat bill, which would prohibit abortions after a doctor can detect a heartbeat. (Dorman, 1/16)

Politico: Trump Gets Huge Boost From Anti-Abortion Group

Before Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, agreed to chair the Donald J. Trump for President Pro-life Coalition in 2016, she requested a list of commitments in writing from the Republican nominee.

To ensure that Trump, who described himself as “very pro-choice” not two decades earlier, wouldn’t betray anti-abortion conservatives as president, Dannenfelser asked that he promise to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, codify into law the Hyde Amendment limiting the use of federal money for abortions, enact legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks and strictly nominate anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court. (Orr, 1/17)

Kaiser Health News: With Fate Of Roe V. Wade Unsure, Abortion Fight Shifts To New Territory

Jan. 22 marks the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide.

Those on both sides of the furious debate say this could be the year when everything changes. In March, the Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy, who had been the swing vote on abortion cases. A decision is expected by summer. (Rovner, 1/17)

In other news on the elections —

The Hill: Progressives Raise Red Flags Over Health Insurer Donations

The health insurance industry is donating big to Democrats even amid criticism of the industry and growing calls for “Medicare for All” from the progressive wing of the party. Four big insurance companies — Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealth Group, CVS Health and Cigna — and their employees have given about $4.5 million collectively in campaign contributions in the 2020 cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (Gangitano, 1/16)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. 

Former Planned Parenthood director on $45M 2020 pledge: This is ‘not really about health care’