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Planned Parenthood Votes Will Organize Voters in North Carolina While Pence, Tillis, Forest Continue to Attack Reproductive Health Care  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 3, 2020
CONTACT: Planned Parenthood Votes Media Office; 212-261-4433; [email protected]
Planned Parenthood Votes Pressroom

While Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Thom Tillis, and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest visit a “crisis pregnancy center” in Raleigh, Planned Parenthood Votes will work to turn out voters to elect reproductive health champions up and down the ballot

Gateway Women’s Care CPC “falsely ties abortion to breast cancer”

Raleigh, NC — Today, Mike Pence, the first sitting vice president to visit a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” (CPC), will host an event at a CPC in Raleigh along with Senator Thom Tillis and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.  Pence, Tillis and, Forest will continue to advocate for abolishing access to abortion in North Carolina, in the face of a global pandemic. 

While Pence, Tillis, and Forest all promote a Trump administration agenda that cuts off access to care, Planned Parenthood Votes is organizing to elect reproductive health champions up and down the ballot in North Carolina. Today, Planned Parenthood Votes will host a virtual phone banking event, where volunteers will be connecting with voters and working to defeat politicians opposed to reproductive rights and abortion access. Organizers will help voters who want to vote by mail request their ballot as North Carolinians start to receive requested mail-in ballots on Friday. 

CPCs claim to provide “all options” counseling, yet many of these fake health centers withhold critical information, and refuse to refer a woman to a health care provider when she requests information about birth control, including emergency contraception, or safe and legal abortion. The Gateway Women’s Care CPC where Pence will hold his event today does not appear to provide birth control as a service, despite being a family planning center. And in a recent CNN article, it’s revealed that Gateway also promotes false and dangerous disinfortmation including “abortion pill reversal,” a dubious practice that was found to be too dangerous to research as well as the incorrect and disproven assumption linking abortion and later development of breast cancer.

Statement from Sarah Riddle, spokesperson, Planned Parenthood Votes in North Carolina:

“It says all you need to know about the priorities of the Trump/Pence administration when the vice president comes to our state not to talk about tackling the COVID-19 pandemic or systemic racism, but to visit a fake women’s health center and spread more lies about abortion and reproductive health care. Pence’s failed health leadership, from his woefully incompetent handling of the COVID-19 task force to his efforts to limit access to sexual and reproductive health, is a danger to North Carolinians and the country. While Pence and his pals Senator Tillis and Dan Forest will try to distract from the administration’s out-of-touch, draconian health agenda, Planned Parenthood Votes will spend the day organizing and educating voters who want reproductive health champions in office. Our state has had enough of politicians trying to attack our health and rights. Planned Parenthood Votes is committed to electing leaders to office this November like Governor Cooper, Cal Cunningham, Vice President Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris, whom we can trust to protect our health care.”  

Politicians opposed to safe, legal abortion hold a slim majority in both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly. This year, Planned Parenthood Votes will be working in North Carolina to put the power in the hands of reproductive health care champions, by flipping these chambers to a pro-reproductive health care majority. 

This visit is yet another example of Vice President Pence’s incessant attacks on sexual and reproductive health. His record both as governor of Indiana and now vice president is clear: 

  • Mike Pence has a record of creating – not solving – public health crises. In Indiana, Pence exacerbated a devastating HIV outbreak because he had personal objections to CDC-approved safety measures like providing clean syringes. 

  • Pence’s response to COVID-19 as presidential task force lead has been marked by incompetence and dangerous disinformation. His failure in leadership has resulted in nearly 180,000 people dead in the United States and a lackluster recovery in comparison to other countries. 

  • Pence has led the Trump administration’s numerous attempts to repeal the ACA, and encouraged the Supreme Court to overturn the entire law.

  • Under Pence’s direction, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) head Seema Verma is allowing states to cut off access to Planned Parenthood health centers for people with Medicaid

  • As an Indiana representative in 2007, Pence brought the very first piece of federal legislation to a vote on the House floor to block patients from using federal health care programs (like Medicaid) for preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. 

  • Pence predicted that legal abortion would end "in our time," hoping that “this will be the generation” to outlaw abortion. He also told the March for Life that its movement to ban abortion is “winning.” 

Senator Thom Tillis and Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest also have extreme records attacking sexual and reproductive health: 

Senator Thom Tillis

  • Months before the Supreme Court took up an abortion case that could jeopardize abortion access for 25 million people, Tillis joined his most extreme Republican colleagues in filing a court brief urging the Supreme Court to consider overturning the right to safe and legal abortion established in Roe v. Wade.

  • Tillis filed a court brief with his most extreme colleagues in support of allowing states to deny Planned Parenthood health centers critical funding, which could put reproductive health care services for North Carolinians in jeopardy.

  • Tillis is completely out of touch with North Carolinians and their personal decisions, signing a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee that called abortion a “terrible tragedy.”

  • Tillis is so obsessed with restricting access to sexual and reproductive health that he snuck in abortion restrictions to totally unrelated legislation on motorcycle helmets in the North Carolina state legislature.

  • As speaker of the North Carolina House, Tillis helped lead the charge to pass one of the most extreme, medically unnecessary mandatory ultrasound bills in the country – a measure designed to shame and judge women seeking an abortion. The legislation was struck down in federal court, all while costing taxpayers money in litigation costs.

  • Tillis demanded, along with his Republican colleagues, that the U.S. Senate not advance any bills that “weaken pro-life and religious liberty actions taken by the Trump administration.”

Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest

  • Forest applauded efforts to deny Planned Parenthood health centers critical funding, which could put reproductive health care services for North Carolinians in jeopardy.

  • Forest parroted disgusting, debunked claims about Planned Parenthood being “created to destroy the entire Black race” during a Martin Luther King Day speech.

  • Forest thinks the Affordable Care Act, the health care law that protects coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions, should be repealed. The impact of overturning the ACA as Forest advocates would be especially devastating now, during the Trump administration's hamstrung response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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