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WE DECIDE 2020: Planned Parenthood Votes Launches Seven-Figure Electoral Program in Maine to Elect Sara Gideon

PLANNED PARENTHOOD VOTES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 4, 2020
CONTACT: Planned Parenthood Votes Media Office; 212-261-4433; [email protected]
Planned Parenthood Votes Pressroom


Planned Parenthood Votes kicks off largest-ever electoral program in earnest, will contact more than 100,000 voters across the state to vote for Sara Gideon, reproductive health champions

Portland, MAINE — Planned Parenthood Votes today officially launched its electoral program in Maine as part of “We Decide 2020,” the people-powered electoral program to elect champions for reproductive rights up and down the 2020 ballot. We Decide 2020 is the largest electoral program ever for Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations with a historic investment of at least $45 million in key battleground states, including $1.7 million in Maine to defeat Senator Susan Collins and elect Sara Gideon to the US Senate.

From now until election day, Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund will contact more than 100,000 supporters to elect Gideon and other reproductive rights champions up and down the ballot, help people get involved to support their local candidates, and build on their power for the upcoming election. 

Statement from Amy Cookson, Planned Parenthood Votes spokesperson in Maine:

“Like most Mainers, Planned Parenthood supporters know that Susan Collins is not the senator she once was. That’s why Planned Parenthood Votes’ message is already resonating with voters across the state, because we know Collins cannot be trusted to protect our health and rights. She voted to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court -- despite her claims that she is pro-choice -- and then collected $200,000 from conservative judicial activists helping Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump pack the courts with more judges hostile to reproductive health and rights.  

“Mainers know what a true reproductive health care champion looks like and that’s who Sara Gideon is. She has a lifetime 100% rating from the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund as a state legislator, and as Maine’s Speaker of the House she led the effort to pass six new laws ensuring Mainers can get the reproductive health care they need when they need it. She’ll continue to prioritize Mainers’ health and rights in the Senate--and Planned Parenthood Votes is eager to help get her there.” 

As Maine prepares for its second election during the COVID-19 pandemic, Planned Parenthood Votes will be running an innovative program with an emphasis on virtual connection, relational organizing, and voting by mail. The vast majority of Mainers, particularly women, young people, and people of color,  support Planned Parenthood and the right to safe, legal abortion, making Planned Parenthood Votes a persuasive and effective messenger.

Planned Parenthood supporters accounted for approximately 20 percent of the 200,000+ absentee ballots requested for the July 14th primary. Planned Parenthood Votes will be investing seven-figures in a robust voter contact program to help Mainers vote by mail for the November election.

After Maine voters elected strong reproductive rights majorities in the Maine Senate and Maine House and the state’s first woman governor in 2018, Planned Parenthood supporters and legislative leaders prioritized reproductive rights legislation leading to the passage of six bills protecting and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care in Maine. Speaker Sara Gideon sponsored one of the bills, LD 1261, to repeal a medically unnecessary and outdated law preventing trained and qualified advanced practice clinicians like nurse practitioners from providing abortion care to their patients. The Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund will also be organizing supporters to protect these crucial majorities in the state legislature.

By contrast, Susan Collins helped Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell pack the courts with more than 200 judges -- many of whom are hostile to reproductive health and rights -- including confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. 

Dubbed the hero of the Kavanaugh confirmation, Susan Collins and her PACs subsequently received nearly $200,000 from far-right judicial activists, including Leonard Leo, the former executive vice president of the Federalist Society, and a driving force behind President Trump and Mitch McConnell’s successful efforts to pack the federal bench with conservative judges. Collins attended a fundraiser at Leo’s summer home on Mount Desert Island that he purchased shortly after she voted to confirm Kavanaugh. While Collins claimed Kavanaugh could be trusted to respect precedent and protect our reproductive rights, he voted against safe, legal abortion the first chance he got. 

Voters want champions for sexual and reproductive health care who can be trusted to put their constituents’ health and rights above political parties and corporate donors. 

From now until Election Day, Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund will be working to ensure Mainers turn out in force at the ballot box to support reproductive rights champions like Sara Gideon and oppose politicians like Susan Collins who can’t be trusted to protect reproductive health and rights. 

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