Campaigns focused on protecting legal abortion led to victories up and down the ballot
(Portland, MAINE) – In the first general election since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal protections for abortion, Maine voters sent a resounding message to lawmakers Tuesday, turning out in record numbers and electing reproductive rights advocates to state and national offices.
Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund PAC (PPMEAF) endorsed Governor Janet Mills, who won reelection 56% to 43% against pro-abortion politician Paul LePage, as well as more than 130 candidates for the Maine State legislature, a majority of whom were victorious on Tuesday. Pro-reproductive rights majorities were secured in both the State Senate and State House.
Mainers cast more than a quarter million absentee ballots, and 70% of Maine’s 905,000 registered voters turned out, besting the previous 2018 midterm record.
People around the country echoed Mainers' message that politicians should not make private medical decisions for anyone. Voters in five states weighed in on statewide ballot measures that directly impact abortion access. In Kentucky and Montana, voters are poised to strike down measures that would restrict access to abortion, and in Michigan, California and Vermont, voters codified constitutional rights to abortion and reproductive freedoms.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, who helped author Maine’s Reproductive Privacy Act, handily won re-election over her Republican challenger, and Congressman Jared Golden is poised to defeat his Republican challenger and retain his seat.
Statement from Nicole Clegg, Senior VP of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund:
“Yesterday, voters made their voices heard. Our basic rights are not negotiable. The loss of Roe fundamentally changed the political landscape. Politicians who wouldn't support reproductive rights found themselves on the wrong side of history. Mainers are clear, we won’t go back.
Extremist, anti-abortion politicians tried to downplay how important reproductive rights and freedoms are to Mainers, and voters loudly rebuked those efforts at the ballot box by electing people who will champion our basic rights. We know this fight is not over. We anticipate more attempts to strip us of our rights by anti-abortion lawmakers in Augusta and Washington, D.C., and we will not back away.
Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund PAC is proud to have endorsed so many candidates who have promised to protect abortion and related reproductive healthcare access in Maine, and we remain committed to holding every elected official accountable heading into the next legislative session.
The Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund Political Action Committee promotes and preserves a health care landscape and a political climate favorable to women’s health by working to identify and elect supportive candidates seeking executive and legislative offices. The PPMEAF PAC is operated by the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund, an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in Maine. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.