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ATLANTA — Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced its endorsement of Rev. Raphael Warnock in the open Senate election to put the health and safety of Georgians first. As our nation struggles to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the Supreme Court considers critical cases on birth control and abortion access, the need to have strong leaders who will champion our health and our rights is clear. While an effective pandemic response has been hamstrung by the Trump administration's years-long efforts to gut our public health infrastructure, they even tried to use one of the COVID-19 response bills to attack abortion access. We urgently need champions in Congress, like Rev. Warnock, who will protect the health and rights of everyone, and who will show strong leadership in the face of a crisis.

This announcement is part of the Action Fund’s continued endorsement of federal candidates committed to reproductive health and rights around the country.

Statement from Staci Fox, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates:

“We are thrilled with Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s endorsement of Rev. Raphael Warnock, a dedicated champion we know will show the leadership we need during times like these. The people of Georgia are done seeing the Trump administration and the current senators try to use every trick in the book to chip away at health care access and safety net programs, and are ready for a bold leader who will fight back against these harmful policies. As a young man, Rev. Warnock worked as a sexual health educator, ensuring young people in his community had the tools they needed to keep themselves safe and healthy. He has continued to advocate for reproductive health and rights throughout his career — standing up for people in Georgia who face systemic barriers and discrimination in many areas of their lives . Approximately 18,000 patients walk through the doors of Planned Parenthood health centers for their health care needs in Georgia every year. Those patients, and all Geogians, need a champion like Rev. Warnock to fight for access to health care and show true leadership in the Congress.”

Statement from Dr. Virginia (Ginger) Davis Floyd, MD, MPH, Former Director, Family Health, Georgia Department of Human Resources:

"I've known Raphael Warnock since he was a young man in college working with me at the Department of Public Health to reduce teenage pregnancy and infant mortality. From first-hand experience, I know he is a tremendous advocate for women's health, contraceptive access, and the pro-choice movement."

The Trump administration’s attacks on abortion, birth control, and other reproductive care have spurred backlash across the country. A record-high 77 percent of Americans say they do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and there is no state where making abortion illegal is popular . Those elected in 2020 to Congress and to the White House will make a difference for access to reproductive health and rights across the country.

Get the facts on the Trump administration’s efforts to chip away at health care access:

FACT: After the White House’s top official in charge of response to a global pandemic left the administration, the White House did not fill the role and instead disbanded the National Security Council’s entire global health security team.

FACT: The Trump administration assigned leadership of its coronavirus response to Vice President Mike Pence, who exacerbated a devastating HIV outbreak as governor of Indiana because he had personal “moral” objections to CDC-approved measures like providing clean syringes.

FACT: The Trump administration sabotaged the Affordable Care Act by drastically curbing enrollment assistance, allowing junk health insurance plans on the marketplaces, and reducing the number of people who have health insurance today. The Trump administration is s upporting a lawsuit that could gut the protections and coverage established by the ACA. In addition, state politicians across the county have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving millions of people without needed health insurance.

FACT: The Trump administration pushed for Medicaid work requirements , an additional barrier to health insurance that is proven to kick tens of thousands of people off their health care. Women, particularly women of color, are significantly more likely to lose coverage as a result of these work requirements.

FACT: The Trump administration attempts to block patients from getting care at Planned Parenthood health centers in any way they can, including their Title X gag rule that forced Planned Parenthood out of the nation’s only dedicated affordable birth control program. The administration also encourages states to block people with Medicaid from accessing Planned Parenthood health centers. Many communities already have extreme health care provider shortages, and Planned Parenthood is often the only trusted provider. We’re in the midst of urgent public health crises — not just coronavirus but also the opioid epidemic and extremely high rates of STIs — we need a strong public health safety net, not fewer trusted providers in our communities.

FACT: The Trump administration's cruel public charge rule was designed to keep immigrant families from accessing health care and basic needs. Experts believe that the rule could weaken America’s response to COVID-19 by preventing immigrant families from seeking health care.

FACT: The Trump administration proposed gutting CDC funding by 16 percent in the FY21 Budget, even amidst the early warning signs of a global pandemic. In fact, despite the rising threat to public health, top Trump officials continue to irresponsibly defend the agency cuts . There is no fiscal reason that could justify stripping down the nation’s life-saving health care infrastructure when we need it the most.

FACT: The Trump administration proposed a budget for FY21 that would slash funding for Health and Human Services (HHS) health care programs, including over $900 billion in cuts to Medicaid over 10 years. Without access to safety-net health care coverage, many people with low incomes or people who live in rural areas will have no options to cover the cost of care, leading to delayed testing and treatment for the deadly virus. The Trump administration stacked HHS with anti-abortion idealogues like Secretary Alex Azar, who spent his time going on TV to tout his anti-abortion agenda while confirmed cases of COVID-19 were on the rise.

Find Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s presidential candidate spotlight here

Tags: Endorsement, We Decide, Election 2020