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When it comes to protecting access to safe, legal abortion as well as birth control and life-saving medical exams for women, time and again we have learned a singular truth: elections matter. Since the Trump Administration took hold of Washington, we’ve been working tirelessly to defeat attacks against our health, rights, and communities.

The 2018 election is six months away, and no doubt has the potential to catalyze seismic, lasting change. Now is the time to hold politicians accountable and elect leaders who will fight with us. It’s up to us to take back the power from those who are intent on dividing us.

Here’s how we win.

ELECT A GOVERNOR WHO WILL PROTECT REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

Last month, Tim Pawlenty announced that he will run for Governor of Minnesota. After eight years as Governor, Tim Pawlenty left Minnesota with a legacy of extreme laws that limit women’s access to abortion in our state. He undermined the health of Minnesota women and families, slashing health care funding while the number of uninsured Minnesotans increased by 50 percent.

ELECT SENATOR TINA SMITH

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund has officially endorsed Senator Tina Smith.  Senator Smith is a proven leader who’s dedicated her career to advancing women’s health and rights. She is a powerful, moving force for justice who has dedicated her life’s work to improving people’s lives. Throughout her career, her mission has been to advocate and work for women. From her work as a vice president at Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) to her work fighting for paid family leave as Minnesota’s lieutenant governor, Smith has long been a champion for women and families, for survivors of assault and harassment, for immigrant communities, and for LGBTQ+ people.

Meanwhile, Senator Smith’s opponent, Minnesota State Senator Karin Housley, was quoted this week saying that laws created to help women actually make them "look weaker."

Karin Housley is anti-abortion, anti-women’s health, anti-Affordable Care Act, and anti-Tina Smith. Electing her to the U.S. Senate would be harmful for people in Minnesota and across the country. As a state senator, she has proven time and time again that she doesn’t represent our values on access to safe and legal abortion, affordable birth control, care at Planned Parenthood, or health care equity—and she doesn’t deserve to represent us in the U.S. Senate.

EIGHT CONGRESSIONAL RACES

The path to a majority in the U.S. House runs through Minnesota. Four out of eight of Minnesota’s congressional races are considered toss-ups by national experts. Constituents have been showing up and speaking out to hold Rep. Lewis (MN02) and Rep. Paulsen (MN03) accountable.

We must re-elect Keith Ellison (MN05) and Betty McCollum (MN04), defeat incumbent Reps. Erik Paulsen (MN03) and Jason Lewis (MN02), and hold the Greater Minnesota seats left open by Reps. Rick Nolan (MN08) and Tim Walz’s (MN01.)

THE MINNESOTA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The legislature continues to send a dangerous abortion bill that will interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, all while refusing to advance a bill to improve birth control coverage for Minnesotans. The legislature should focus on priorities that improve our state’s health, like making sure Minnesotans have affordable contraception, not on bills that undermine the patient-doctor relationship. We can take back the Minnesota House and put an end to these dangerous bills even making it to the Governor’s desk, but we must target and swing eleven seats to do so.

Take Action, Make Change

Join the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund (the Action Fund) and the Planned Parenthood Minnesota Political Action Fund (the PAC) in the fight for 2018. If candidates don’t stand with us on access to safe and legal abortion, affordable birth control, care at Planned Parenthood, or health care equity, then they don’t deserve to represent us.

Pledge to vote for reproductive health champions in 2018.

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