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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic (PPVSAT) proudly announces their endorsement of James Smith for governor of South Carolina.

As a long-time champion for women’s health in the SC House of Representatives, James Smith is a vocal supporter and advocate for Planned Parenthood. He recognizes the critical need for the full range of expert reproductive health care Planned Parenthood South Atlantic provides — including safe, legal abortion — in the communities we serve.

“A PPVSAT endorsement in the governor’s race sends a strong signal to pro-women’s health voters that James Smith can be counted on to promote access to basic reproductive health care in the state’s highest office, and that he supports a woman’s right to make her own deeply personal pregnancy decisions, no matter what,” Vicki Ringer, South Carolina Director of Public Affairs, said.

Smith is committed to protecting access to reproductive health care in South Carolina. As Governor, he has pledged to rollback restrictions to safe, legal abortion care, and expand access to basic health services such as birth control.

“The people of South Carolina don’t want to see the clock rolled back any further on access to reproductive health care in our state,” Ringer said. “Throughout Smith’s tenure in public office he has been a staunch supporter in the fight for women’s rights and a vocal advocate on the SC House floor to protect the fundamental care Planned Parenthood provides to thousands of women, men and young people in South Carolina each year.”

During the 2017-2018 legislative session, four anti-abortion bills were introduced to chip away access to safe, legal abortion care in South Carolina, including repeated threats from the current governor and lieutenant governor to “defund” abortion providers in South Carolina. Planned Parenthood in South Carolina does not receive federal family planning funds. Restricting funds from Planned Parenthood means patients who rely on Medicaid as their primary method of insurance would no longer be able to visit their trusted health care provider for lifesaving services such as STI testing and treatment, well woman exams and birth control.

PPVSAT is the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic (PPSAT), engaging in voter education and advocating for public policies that will protect and expand access to reproductive health services and education programs PPSAT provides in our Columbia and Charleston health centers.

PPVSAT will announce additional candidate primary endorsements on our website in the coming weeks.