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Elections & Politics

Planned Parenthood Delivers Victories for Women’s Health in Virginia State Senate

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 11.12.07

Seventy-five Volunteers from 16 States Flood Senate Districts with Pro-Women’s Health Message

Virginia— Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political and advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, played a critical role in securing victory for pro-women’s health candidates in Virginia. In the weekend before the election, 75 volunteers and staff from 16 states partnered with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia to flood state senate districts in order to deliver a pro-women’s health, commonsense prevention message.

“Tuesday’s victory proves that voters are tired of politicians who stand in the way of women’s access to health care. Virginia women need advocates for their reproductive health care, and I know that our newly-elected friends in the Virginia State Senate will be a strong voice for increasing access to basic health services like birth control, and ensuring that in Virginia, women’s health matters,” said Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards.

Planned Parenthood contributed to and endorsed 15 candidates in the Virginia State Senate races including wins by the following candidates:

  • Chuck Caputo
  • George Barker
  • Margaret Vanderhye
  • Paul Nichols
  • David Englin
  • Ralph Northam
  • David Poisson

In addition, in a highly competitive race against a well-funded incumbent Planned Parenthood forced a recount between Ken Cuccinnelli and Janet Oleszek in a race that is yet to be decided.

In the weekend before the election, Planned Parenthood Action Fund volunteers and staff from Vermont to California drove, flew and bused into Virginia to partner with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia for the state senate races; they represented 28 Planned Parenthood affiliates in 16 states. During their four-day election “Boot Camp,” the group made over 10,000 calls to Planned Parenthood supporters, knocked on more than 17,000 doors and worked in neighborhoods throughout the state handing out get-out-the-vote literature and ensuring drive-time visibility. The work and training accomplished over the four days helped to sharpen Planned Parenthood activists’ campaign skills and lay the foundation for on-the-ground efforts in 2008 and beyond.

“We were a sea of Planned Parenthood T-shirts.  Our hardworking, energetic volunteers and staff hit the ground running, talking to thousands of voters across the state,” said Action Fund Director Inga Smulkstys. “Tuesday’s victories show that when Planned Parenthood campaigns, women’s health wins!”

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.