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2020 Endorsements: Together, We Can Turn The Senate Pink

    

 

 

 

Our Plan To Win
(It Includes You!)

There’s a lot going on in 2020 — if you’re looking to channel your energy in an powerful way to protect our reproductive health and rights, we have a plan for you! 

Path to Victory:

To flip the Senate, we need to net four new seats this election year.

The top five most vulnerable incumbents, who have consistently voted against our reproductive health and rights, are all down in the polls. Four of them rank among the most unpopular Senators in the country. 

Reproductive health care is popular. Voting against it is not. We can flip these seats.

We’re also looking at other seats across the country where people are fed up with regressive, anti-health care politicians who don’t represent them. Together, we can turn the Senate pink! 

Our Candidates for
the U.S. Senate

(ongoing list)

Sara Gideon, Maine

Sara Gideon has spent her career championing reproductive rights, including as speaker of the House in Maine. 

  • She was even a Planned Parenthood patient — she knows what’s at stake.

  • Meanwhile: Incumbent Senator Susan Collins defended Brett Kavanaugh, solidifying a huge threat to Roe v. Wade. She is currently polling as the most unpopular member of the Senate.

Sara Gideon can win in Maine. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Mark Kelly, Arizona 

  • There are over 270,000 Planned Parenthood supporters in Arizona. We're ready to win.

  • Kelly is running against Martha McSally, who was appointed — not elected — to her seat after losing to a candidate who ran on a reproductive rights platform. Her approval rating is at 37%.

  • He’s a longtime champion of reproductive rights, and he’s winning in the polls.

Mark Kelly can win in Arizona. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Steve Bullock, Montana

  • As Governor, Bullock has fought to protect Title X funding for sexual and reproductive health care, and vetoed anti-abortion legislation. 

  • Incumbent Senator Steve Daines has consistently tried to block funds for reproductive health care, including through the Title X program.

  • Bullock is already leading in the polls. With nearly 70,000 Planned Parenthood supporters in Montana ready to prioritize sexual and reproductive health care, we can do this!


Steve Bullock can win in Montana. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Theresa Greenfield, Iowa

  • There are 149,000 Planned Parenthood supporters in Iowa — that’s a lot of people prioritizing sexual and reproductive health care at the ballot box.

  • Greenfield has promised to defend the constitutional right to abortion in the Senate. She’s running against Senator Joni Ernst, a Trump ally who is vehemently anti-abortion, and even opposes certain forms of contraception. 

  • Joni Ernst has voted against Iowans with pre-existing conditions -- one reason why her approval ratings are dropping

Theresa Greenfield can win in Iowa. The path to victory is clear —  are you in?

Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire

  • Senator Shaheen has always supported and defended mandatory insurance coverage for reproductive health care,  including advocating for birth control coverage without a copay in the Affordable Care Act (which has benefited over 62 million people so far!). 

  • Last year she introduced the Global HER Act to repeal the global gag rule, which is a devastating policy that blocks health care access around the world

  • She has provided decades of public service to New Hampshire. This includes six years as governor and eleven as senator — the first woman to ever serve in both roles.

    Jeanne Shaheen can win in New Hampshire. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

John Hickenlooper, Colorado

  • As governor, he oversaw the planning of the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, providing IUDs to 43,713 people. 

  • He has pledged to fight to undo the Title X gag rule and increase Title X funding by $700 million. 

  • Incumbent Senator Cory Gardner, on the other hand, has consistently voted to restrict abortion rights and “defund” Planned Parenthood. It’s no wonder Hickenlooper is consistently beating him in the polls
     

John Hickenlooper can win in Colorado. The path to victory is clear —  are you in?

MJ Hegar, Texas

  • Hegar is opposed to cutting critical health services to people all over Texas, especially in rural areas where losing access to these health centers often means losing care.

  • Incumbent Senator John Cornyn, a major opponent of reproductive health initiatives, has a 0% rating on Planned Parenthood Action Fund's congressional scorecard.

  • Texas is ready: In 2018, the Senate race between Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the closest in Texas in over 40 years—with Cruz winning by fewer than 3 points.

MJ Hegar can win in Texas. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Reverend Raphael Warnock, Georgia

  • Rev. Warnock is the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation once led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

  • His commitment to public health started early: As a young adult he worked as a sexual health educator through the GA Department of Public Health, teaching young people how to keep themselves safe and healthy. 

  • Rev. Warnock is deeply committed to expanding health care coverage and protecting Georgians’ health and rights — he led a sit-in at the Georgia State Capitol to press for expansion of Medicaid in 2014.

    Rev. Warnock can win in Georgia. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Jon Ossoff, Georgia

  • Ossoff has pledged to protect Roe v. Wade and the right to choose without government interference.

  • He’s running against David Perdue, who has consistently attacked access to reproductive health care like birth control and abortion, and who supported Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. 

  • Politicians that threaten access to our health care, like Perdue, have no place in Congress. Like leaders Stacey Abrams and Congressman John Lewis, we’re excited to support Ossoff instead.
     

Jon Ossoff can win in Georgia. The path to victory is clear —  are you in?

Jamie Harrison, South Carolina

  • Harrison is challenging Lindsey Graham, who has called for a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. Meanwhile, Harrison has used his platform as DNC associate chairman to affirm his support for protecting our health and rights.

  • Graham’s approval rating has dropped below 50%

  • We have over 80,000 supporters in South Carolina ready to bring home a win — we can do this!

Jamie Harrison can win in South Carolina. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Dr. Barbara Bollier, Kansas

  • Last year, Kansas legislators introduced a bill that would require doctors to give fake information about “abortion reversals.” As a state legislator who cares about access to health care, Bollier was there to push back, though it took a Governor's veto to win. She’ll have more power in the Senate. 

  • She’s run for office before, and won: with our help, she can do it again. 

  • In 2018, pro-reproductive health advocate Laura Kelly won the governorship. If she can win a big statewide election, so can Bollier!

Dr. Barbara Bollier can win in Kansas. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Mike Espy, Mississippi

  • Since his time as one of the first Black students at a newly integrated high school in Yazoo City, Mike Espy has spent decades successfully fighting against racist policies and precedents and fighting for progressive change in Mississippi. 

  • He believes Roe v. Wade is settled law and has pledged to prioritize quality, affordable health care for all. 

  • He’s challenging Cindy Hyde-Smith, who has fought to decrease access to medication abortion, supports extremist anti-abortion judges like Cory Wilson, and wants to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Mike Espy can win in Mississippi. The path to victory is clear —  are you in?

Dr. Al Gross, Alaska

  • Sexual and reproductive health care is not a partisan issue — Dr. Al Gross is an Independent who believes health care decisions are between a patient and their doctor. 
  • As a physician, Dr. Gross knows firsthand the importance of access to comprehensive health care, including safe, legal abortion. 

  • Incumbent Senator Dan Sullivan has a 0% rating on Planned Parenthood Action Fund's congressional scorecard.

Dr. Al Gross can win in Alaska. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

 

Cal Cunningham, North Carolina

  • Incumbent Senator Thom Tillis has the support of many anti-reproductive health organizations and co-wrote a letter asking the Trump administration to “defund” Planned Parenthood and impose the gag rule on the Title X family planning program.
  • Cunningham believes in expanding access to reproductive care. He strongly opposes partisan efforts in Washington to attack Planned Parenthood health care centers.

  • Senator Tillis has the lowest approval rating—34%—among Republicans up for re-election this cycle
     

Cal Cunningham can win in North Carolina. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Ed Markey, Massachusetts

  • Senator Markey has vowed to protect abortion rights on the Supreme Court, saying, “I would not vote for a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade."

  • As the incumbent, Markey is seeking reelection in a seat that he last won in 2014  with 62% of the vote.

  • Senator Markey is a co-sponsor of the EACH Woman Act, further highlighting his commitment to ensuring everyone has access to abortion care, regardless of their insurance status.


Ed Markey can win in Massachusetts. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Gary Peters, Michigan

  • In Congress, Senator Peters has worked to protect and expand access to health care — but the issue is also personal to him. He recently became the first sitting US Senator to share his own personal story about accessing abortion care.  

  • He is the incumbent in a race he won in 2014 with 54.6% of the vote in a Democratic seat.

  • His challenger, John James, has been endorsed by Trump in the past and is a strong proponent of rolling back access to abortion.

    Gary Peters can win in Michigan. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

     

Tina Smith, Minnesota

  • Senator Smith is the only US Senator to have ever worked at Planned Parenthood (serving as a vice president of external affairs at Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South  Dakota).

  • Her stance is clear, as she has said “I know that when women do not have the freedom to make their own choices about their reproductive health care, they have lost the freedom to direct their own lives.”

  • In 2019, she took direct aim at the Trump/Pence administration as she fought to protect Title X and all Americans’ access to reproductive health care.


Tina Smith can win in Minnesota. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Cory Booker, New Jersey

  • Senator Booker’s values are clear: his plan during his recent presidential run included codifying protections for Roe v. Wade, repealing the Hyde Amendment, ending the Title X gag rule, protecting birth control coverage, and more. 

  • In 2019, he wrote an open letter to men encouraging them to take a stand for abortion rights, arguing that an, “attack on women’s fundamental freedoms and agency is a blatant assault on constitutional and human rights.”

  • He has taken a hard stance on Trump’s federal judicial nominees, voting overwhelmingly against their confirmations.


Cory Booker can win in New Jersey. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Ben Ray Luján, New Mexico

  • Congressman Luján has always voted to protect Planned Parenthood, the Title X family planning program, and the ACA as a U.S. Representative.

  • He believes health care is a human right and that everyone, regardless of race, zip code, or income, deserves access to affordable and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.

  • He has been a strong supporter of abortion rights, warning that with Trump, “It’s going to be more important than ever to proactively support that access to safe and legal reproductive health.”


Ben Ray Luján can win in New Mexico. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Jeff Merkley, Oregon

  • Senator Merkley was one of the first elected officials to raise the alarm that Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a threat to our reproductive rights and health. 

  • A long term champion before coming to the Senate, he had a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon for his work in the Oregon state legislature, which included leading the fight to pass the Access to Birth Control Act. 

  • In 2019, he introduced a Planned Parenthood-lauded Equality Act to protect and strengthen civil rights for LGBTQ+ people nationwide.


Jeff Merkley can win in Oregon. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Mark Warner, Virginia

  • This will be Senator Warner’s third term — he’s won twice, and he can win again. 

  • Warner opposed restrictive 24-hour waiting periods for people seeking abortions and co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act.

  • Senator Warner was strongly against Brett Kavanugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, citing the threat Kavanaugh poses to Roe v. Wade as one of his primary concerns.


Mark Warner can win in Virginia. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Chris Coons, Delaware

  • Senator Coons is a champion of abortion rights, receiving a 100% lifetime rating from Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

  • He is an important ally to Joe Biden. His role in a Biden administration has potential to be incredibly influential and powerful. 

  • As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Coons worked diligently to try and stop the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, further showing his commitment to reproductive rights.

    Chris Coons can win in Delaware. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Dick Durbin, Illinois

  • Senator Durbin is seeking his 5th term in a solidly Democratic seat that he won in 2014 with 54% of the vote.
  • He has been a supporter of reproductive rights, saying in 2019 that, “Thousands of women in Illinois rely on Planned Parenthood, and no one should be punished for seeking care and consultation. It’s their right.”
  • As the Senate Minority Whip, he introduced the MOMMA’s Act to help reduce the nation’s rising maternal mortality rates, which disproportionately impact Black women.


Dick Durbin can win in Illinois. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

Jack Reed, Rhode Island

  • Senator Reed is seeking his fifth term for his seat... that he last won in 2014 with 71% of the vote.

  • Reed has consistently voted to protect access to affordable birth control: he co-sponsored a bill to increase funding for preventative health care services including contraception.

  • In 2018 he signed a letter to demand no changes to Title X federal funding and to keep access to quality reproductive health care.


Jack Reed can win in Rhode Island. The path to victory is clear — are you in?

States To Watch

So far this election cycle, we’ve endorsed well over 200 candidates — and we’ll continue to endorse and invest in federal candidates across the country, including in key battlegrounds like Iowa, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alaska, Montana, Texas, and Kentucky in the coming months. 

Please note that most of the "Champions to Re-Elect" are incumbent Senators with 100% scores on PPAF's scorecard. One exception is longtime champion Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), who is running for NM's open U.S Senate seat, vacated by fellow reproductive health champion Senator Tom Udall.

 

 

 

Why the Senate Matters

We have seen unprecedented attacks on sexual and reproductive health and rights from the administration and the

Republican controlled Senate. From protecting abortion access to funding reproductive health programs, the Senate makes critical decisions that directly impact Planned Parenthood health center patients every day.

If you care about having a Senate that protects our health and rights, then join us in our efforts to turn the Senate pink in 2020. 

Judicial Nominations & the Senate

Only the Senate confirms appointees to both the judicial and executive branches. That's a big deal.

With the Republican majority’s rubber stamp at the ready, the Trump-Pence administration has been working to reshape the landscape of federal judges at an alarming rate. Aside from naming and confirming two Supreme Court justices, one in four federal appellate judges (the next level of seniority) have been named by the administration and confirmed by Senate Republican leadership. 

Every day, these and other federal judges are ruling on important cases that cover a range of topics, including whether to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), protecting civil and human rights and, of course, the constitutional right to abortion access. 

Most of Trump's nominees are extremely conservative, and many hold views that are hostile to reproductive health and rights. Their rulings will impact generations to come. We need a Senate that will confirm judges that vote in the interests of our health and rights instead.

The Majority Leader

The Senate majority leader has more power than any other senator. In 2019 alone, the House passed over 275 bills — on topics ranging from gun control to climate change to raising the minimum wage — that the Senate refuses to consider due to the  procedural power the office of Senate majority leader wields.  

Need an example? Look no further than the debate over Title X;
Senate Republican leadership cancelled a committee markup of a spending bill rather than take a vote in support of birth control.

Republican leadership similarly blocked the Senate from even debating President Obama’s 2016 Supreme Court pick, while confirming that they would be sure to seat  a Trump pick in 2020 if there were a similar vacancy.

Together, we will break up the current Republican Senate majority so we can protect and expand access to reproductive health care, alongside a broad swath of other crucial progressive issues.