CONCORD - The Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund PAC announced today it has made endorsements in the New Hampshire Executive Branch candidates who have all pledged to protect and expand access to the full range of reproductive health care - including safe, legal abortion - in the Granite State or have a strong record of doing so. The endorsements come following this week’s fourth vote from Governor and Council in less than a year to dismantle the state family planning program and defund reproductive health providers, including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
For Governor, PPNHAF PAC is endorsing Senator Dr. Tom Sherman. As state senator and state representative, Tom Sherman has been a leader in the fight to protect and expand access to the full range of reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion. He fought against New Hampshire’s abortion ban during the state budget process and worked this year to mitigate the harm of that ban on abortion later in pregnancy while working to enshrine abortion rights in state statute. In comparison, his opponent, incumbent Governor Sununu, signed that abortion ban into law - without any exceptions for rape, incest, or fatal fetal diagnoses - and bragged on a national podcast about “doing more on the pro-life issue…than anyone.”
For Executive Council, PPNHAF PAC has endorsed:
- Dana Hilliard in District 1
- Councilor Cinde Warmington in District 2
- Katherine Harake in District 3
- Senator Kevin Cavanaugh in District 4
- Shoshanna Kelly in District 5
Incumbent Councilor Cinde Warmington has been a steadfast champion for reproductive and sexual health care access. She has been the sole vote in support of family planning funding for reproductive health centers four times and has used her voice to educate and advocate for reproductive rights.
Senator Kevin Cavanaugh has consistently supported access to the full range of reproductive health services - including safe, legal abortion - in his time in the state Senate.
Candidates Dana Hilliard, Katherine Harake, and Shoshanna Kelly have campaigned on the importance of reinstating family planning contracts and protecting reproductive rights on the Council, and PPNHAF PAC looks forward to them continuing to uplift this critical issue in their districts.
In stark contrast, the other incumbent Executive Council candidates voted against family planning funding, including contracts with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, four times in the last year -- Joe Kenney, Janet Stevens, Ted Gatsas, and Dave Wheeler. They are also vocal opponents of abortion rights.
Statement from Dr. Lydia Garcia, PPNHAF PAC Advisory Board Member:
“Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund PAC is proud to endorse this strong slate of candidates for New Hampshire’s Executive Branch. In this post-Roe world, where our reproductive health care landscape has been thrown into chaos and the Supreme Court has given state politicians permission to control our bodies, it is critical that New Hampshire’s Executive Branch, the Governor and Council, be committed to protecting and expanding access to the full range of reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortion.”
Statement from Skip Small, PPNHAF PAC Advisory Board Chair:
“Governor Sununu and his anti-abortion majority on the Executive Council have played politics with Granite Staters’ health and rights. In the last two years, Sununu signed the first abortion ban in modern New Hampshire history into state law and his Council cast four separate votes to defund Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and dismantle our state’s family planning program, jeopardizing access to preventative health care - like birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment - for more than 12,000 Granite Staters.
Without federal constitutional protections for abortion rights, the Executive Council, which approves judicial nominees and contracts, is the last line of defense against attacks on abortion access and efforts to defund PPNNE health centers.
If elected, Granite Staters can count on Tom Sherman, Dana Hilliard, Cinde Warmington, Katherine Harake, Kevin Cavanaugh, and Shoshanna Kelly to work together to protect and expand reproductive freedom in New Hampshire.”
Sununu’s Attacks on Family Planning Funding:
- In 2015, then Executive Councilor Chris Sununu cast the deciding vote to defund Planned Parenthood health centers in New Hampshire, jeopardizing access to family planning care for thousands of Granite Staters.
- As Governor, Sununu signed a budget that underfunded the Family Planning Program and silently watched his Republican colleagues gut that program by rejecting contracts with three reproductive health providers, including PPNNE.
Sununu’s Attacks on Abortion Access:
- In 2016, when Sununu ran for governor in a contentious primary, he laid out steps he would take to restrict abortion access in NH once elected.
- In 2020, Sununu vetoed the Reproductive Health Parity Act, which would have removed financial barriers for people seeking access to abortion.
- On June 25, 2021, Sununu signed New Hampshire’s first abortion ban in modern history into law. Sununu’s abortion ban criminalized doctors, required forced ultrasounds for all people seeking abortion care, and failed to make exemptions for rape, incest, or fatal fetal diagnoses.
Sununu’s Attacks on Abortion Rights Through Judicial Nominations:
- In 2018, Sununu put his full support behind Justice Kavanaugh. Because of his appointment to SCOTUS - which led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade - the states that are banning or deeply restricting abortion access continues to rise, and it’s very likely that soon 26 states - which is the equivalent of 36 million, or half, of all women of reproductive age - will lose access to safe, legal abortion.
- Some of Governor Sununu’s past judicial nominees have shown hostility toward abortion rights. As the federal courts are no longer a backstop, the future of abortion rights are in individual states. A supportive Council is critical for votes on future judicial nominees because state courts are now the firewall for reproductive rights and abortion access.
The Executive Council’s Attacks on Family Planning:
- Councilors Kenney, Stevens, Gatsas, and Wheeler voted against family planning contracts every single opportunity they have had, including 4 times in less than a year (July 2022, January 2022, December 2021, and September 2021).
- Joe Kenney, Ted Gatsas, and Dave Wheeler have voted against these contracts prior to 2021, as well.
- Family Planning contracts consistently passed with bipartisan support from 1972-2011.
Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy. The Action Fund makes independent expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to targeted candidates for public office. Follow us on Twitter. PPNHAF maintains a separate, segregated political committee and fund to make direct campaign contributions to endorsed candidates (the PAC). Follow PPNHAF PAC on Twitter.
Understanding and explaining the different Planned Parenthood entities in New Hampshire:
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 5 health centers in Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. Last fiscal year we saw more than 11,000 patients at these sites. PPNNE was named a 2021 Guardian of Excellence Award® winner by Press Ganey, the national leader in health care consumer and workforce engagement. Press Ganey recognizes PPNNE as a top-performing health care organization, achieving the 95th percentile or above for performance in patient experience, out of more than 20,000 medical practices.
Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy. The Action Fund makes independent expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to targeted candidates for public office. PPNHAF maintains a separate, segregated political committee and fund to make direct campaign contributions to endorsed candidates (the PAC).
Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund PAC is the political committee that makes candidate endorsements and gives financial contributions directly to candidates.