#BTS: The PPVNM Endorsement Process
By Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico | April 3, 2018, 11:04 p.m.
Planned Parenthood has provided high-quality sexual and reproductive health care and comprehensive sexual education for over 100 years. Throughout the last century Planned Parenthood’s mission has centered on equipping our communities with the information and health care they need to live healthy, successful lives. At the same time, the mission of Planned Parenthood has been challenged, attacked, and denounced by those seeking to limit an individual’s autonomy and personal decision-making.
Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico (PPVNM) was formed in response to these challenges. PPVNM is charged with the political advocacy work necessary to protect and expand access to health care for our communities. A key element to the political advocacy work is supporting and electing individuals to public office who support full access to health care, and it has never been more clear that working to elect supporters of access to reproductive health care – including abortion – is an integral way to successfully stand up for the needs of individuals and families in our communities.
PPVNM take endorsements seriously. Each candidate who seeks an endorsement for any office must first answer a thorough candidate questionnaire. If the answers a candidate provides are in alignment with the mission, vision, and values of Planned Parenthood, candidates are invited for an interview with our endorsement committee. This committee is made up of patient advocates, campus activists, leaders of communities of color and allied organizations, former elected officials, board members, staff, and donors. This interview gives our committee an opportunity to find the candidates who understand and respect the need for an intersectional approach to our work, and those who will be public leaders on our issues.
PPVNM is a non-partisan organization. Our primary goal is to advocate for, and work to elect, policymakers who will be champions for expanding access to reproductive health care. We know that this isn’t a partisan issue – 62% of all women 15 – 44 years old are currently using some sort of contraception.
A candidate's stance on access to birth control is just one of the issues we look at when considering endorsements. Candidates are eligible for endorsement only if their responses to the questionnaire indicate full support of reproductive health, rights, and justice. This means that they must commit to opposing efforts to enact any legislation that restricts access to reproductive health care including: forced parental notification, banning abortion later in pregnancy, forced medical interventions, government interference in life-saving research using fetal tissue, using domestic violence as a mask to restrict access to abortion via so-called Unborn Victims of Violence acts, and of course any attempt to reduce or limit funding for family planning services – at Planned Parenthood or elsewhere.
Electing champions of reproductive health, rights, and justice is crucial, now more than ever. Roe v. Wade was decided over 40 years ago, and we're not going back. But in the last 7 years over 300 laws restricting access to abortion have been enacted. While the stated purpose of many of these laws is to protect the health and safety of those seeking abortion, these restrictions actually create barriers in access to health care that result in the just opposite, making it more difficult for individuals to receive quality care. We know these restrictions are harmful to women. Every time a state or nation limits access to abortion, the maternal mortality rate increases and the number of people who seek less safe abortion options increases.
Our endorsement requires full support on all of these issues because, in addition to it being the right thing to do for the women and families who depend on this care, these are the values of New Mexicans. 74% of rural New Mexicans surveyed agree that “personal decisions about abortion need to remain with New Mexican women, their families, and their medical providers,"including 69% of Republicans, 82% of Democrats, and 64% of independents.Albuquerque voters made clear how they feel about abortion access in 2013 and repeatedly in elections since. And New Mexicans across the state have consistently voted to elect candidates who stand up against these intrusive and unsafe limits on abortion access.
In 2018 we have an opportunity across the state to not only elect policy-makers who support reproductive rights, but to elevate leaders who will be champions on the issues that matter most to individuals and families in our communities.
This is why we are asking you to step up and help PPVNM this election year.
You can be one of our many PPVNM Champions by:
- Signing up to volunteer
- Sharing this blog and our lists of endorsed candidates on social media
- Being a patient at PP
- Voting for candidates who support reproductive rights, health, and justice! Update your registration here.