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TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes
DATE: November 6, 2023
RE: Abortion rights will win despite opponents blatantly deceiving voters


Abortion is on the ballot on Nov. 7 and voters will once again turn out in key states to protect their right to control their bodies, lives, and futures. Abortion rights have remained undefeated at the ballot box ever since last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In every single state, voters chose reproductive freedom. It is clear that the American people overwhelmingly support abortion rights and the issue will no doubt be a driving force as voters head to the polls tomorrow to elect reproductive rights champions up and down the ballot across the country. 

These victories for abortion rights will come despite desperate politicians who have stooped to new lows in their efforts to take away our rights — doing anything to get elected and advance their dangerous agendas. They’re lying about their position on sexual and reproductive health care, spreading egregious disinformation about abortion, and purging voters from the voter rolls. But make no mistake: Voters will see through the lies, and abortion rights champions will win at the ballot box. 

Ohio

In Ohio, opponents of the state’s reproductive rights amendment Issue 1, have launched a full-throated disinformation campaign — with politicians at all levels of government abusing the power of their offices to defeat the measure. Their efforts include:

  • ​​An official, taxpayer-funded website from the Ohio Senate Majority Caucus spreading disinformation and blatant anti-abortion propaganda; 
  • Gov. Mike DeWine’s falsehood-filled media blitz about the initiative;
  • Intentionally using confusing language on the ballot to mislead voters, because polling shows that when the question is presented in simple language, voters support the amendment at a higher rate;
  • Attorney General Dave Yost’s questionable and dangerous legal analysis, distributed to voters;
  • A state-approved, distorted, and inaccurate ballot summary that polling shows has already had a measurable impact on voters, and that the state Supreme Court rubber-stamped; and
  • Purges of more than 26,000 Ohioans from the voter rolls just weeks before the election, a craven attempt to undermine democracy.

Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights (OURR) spokesman Gabriel Mann summed up the reality: “This is an unprecedented pattern of deception and inference by all three branches of the Ohio government to block Issue 1 and control the private medical decisions of Ohioans. Abortion rights opponents have clearly shown us over and over again that when they think they can't win, they try and cheat. The same politicians responsible for Ohio’s extreme abortion ban have tried to mislead voters with inaccurate ballot language.

If Issue 1 fails, it will be because the full GOP apparatus in Ohio ran a strategic and coordinated campaign to exploit the process, undermine democracy, and abuse the power and authority of their public offices — all to deceive voters. The majority of Ohioans support abortion rights, OURR is working hard to educate voters about the initiative and ensure abortion’s winning streak at the ballot box continues. 

Pennsylvania

Since winning the Republican primary in May, Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidate Carolyn Carluccio has spent her campaign hiding her position on abortion and her ties to the anti-abortion movement. Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly support abortion rights, which helped propel candidates like Gov. Josh Shapiro and U.S. Senator John Fetterman to victory and flipped the state legislature to a majority committed to sexual and reproductive health

 in 2022. We know where Carluccio stands, and it’s not with Pennsylvania voters:

  • She has been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania, two anti-abortion organizations that want to ban abortion from conception in Pennsylvania.
  • She wiped her anti-abortion stance from her website following the primary election. It previously described her as a “defender of all life under the law.”
  • Carluccio’s family foundation, the Little Tower Foundation, has given at least $10,000 to a local crisis pregnancy center — a fake clinic run by anti-abortion activists whose real agenda is to shame or pressure pregnant people out of getting an abortion. Carluccio has served as the organization’s bookkeeper and is a substantial contributor to the foundation. 
  • She is supported by Jeff Yaas, a billionaire and staunch abortion foe who is also backing dangerous candidates in Virginia and Kentucky. 

On a candidate questionnaire, Carluccio avoided answering whether Roe v Wade was “egregiously wrong,” claiming that her views could force her to recuse herself from ruling on cases related to the issue, all while saying it is “not an issue in this race at all.” In recent weeks after she was hammered by Planned Parenthood Votes and other abortion access allies, Carluccio was forced to respond to questions about her position on abortion. Rather than being upfront however, she has been evasive on the issue, saying she would be “applying that law” or she would “follow the law” on abortion — the same talking point used by the three Trump-appointed U.S. Supreme Court justices who eventually voted to overturn Roe and admitted that an abortion ban could come before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Carluccio is clearly anti-abortion and lying to voters to get elected. 

Virginia

With full control of the Virginia General Assembly up for grabs, this election will determine whether Gov. Youngkin has the votes he needs to enact his long-threatened 15-week abortion ban. 

Some candidates have opted to avoid the topic altogether or “soften” their stance. As the Virginia Scope recently reported, “Some Republicans in competitive races either moderated or completely removed abortion language from their campaign website.” If elected, these candidates would enthusiastically vote for Youngkin’s abortion ban, and many others are secretly eager to go beyond 15 weeks. Abortion is a top issue for Virginia voters with poll after poll making clear that they want abortion to be legal, so this back-peddling by candidates to confuse voters and win their races comes as no surprise.

On the other hand, there is Gov. Youngkin who has not shied away from detailing his anti-abortion agenda. Instead, he’s opted to spread disinformation and gaslight voters into thinking that a 15-week ban is somehow different from a 15-week limit on abortion. It’s not. Youngkin, and anti-abortion strategists, are hoping his $1.4 million bet pays off, but voters won’t be fooled by these scare tactics and lies.  

Kentucky

In the race for governor, GOP candidate Daniel Cameron has been on the defensive about his hardline position on abortion and other sexual and reproductive health services. In recent weeks, Cameron — who previously lauded and even defended the state’s total ban on abortion in the court as attorney general — has suddenly worked to “soften” his out-of-touch position, finally seeing it for what it is: a political liability. 

Kentucky’s abortion ban makes no exceptions for rape and incest, and Cameron now claims that if elected, he would sign legislation to add exceptions if passed by the legislature. Daniel Cameron is lying to get votes. In every candidate questionnaire, press release, media interview, speech, court filing, and debate prior, he proudly stated that he supported Kentucky’s total abortion ban — as is.

Key Point 

The vast majority of Americans support abortion rights. That’s why our opponents are working so hard to deny their long-held positions. They know they are on the wrong side of voters and they're blatantly trying to confuse them. Make no mistake: our opponents are lying to voters to get elected. But they will not win.

With so much at stake, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations in these states continue to educate and mobilize voters to show up and support candidates who will protect abortion access and ensure that politicians stay out of our personal medical decisions. Everyone deserves the power to control their own lives, bodies, and futures — no matter what. 

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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, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.

Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.

Pennsylvania content paid for by Planned Parenthood Votes, 123 William St, NY NY 10038. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Connected organization: Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

 

Kentucky and Virginia content paid for by Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 123 William St., NY NY 10038.

 

Ohio content paid for by Planned Parenthood Action Fund and provided in-kind to Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights.