#DearSenators: Groups Launch New Campaign To Center Personal Stories in Fight Against Kavanaugh
For Immediate Release: Aug. 8, 2018
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Advocates for Youth, Center for American Progress, National Women’s Law Center, and Stand Up America launch interactive website, voicemail and video projects, and more to enable supporters to not just protest against Kavanaugh’s nomination but also share their stories directly with senators
Washington, DC - Today, a coalition of groups including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Advocates for Youth, Center for American Progress, National Women’s Law Center, and Stand Up America announced the launch of #DearSenators, a new campaign to lift up the stories of individuals who would be most affected by Kavanaugh’s decisions if he were to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Kavanaugh would threaten women’s constitutional rights, including the right to access abortion, as well as Americans’ ability to access health care, live free of discrimination, and more. The campaign is targeted directly at senators to make sure they know that for their constituents, the fight against Kavanaugh isn’t political — it’s personal.
The #DearSenators campaign is launching the interactive webpage http://dearsenators.org/, which features voice recordings of patient stories, a way for supporters to send a voicemail with their personal story with senators, images of handwritten letters that constituents across the country have been sending to their senators, guidance that helps supporters write and send their own letters, and additional digital tools to allow supporters and volunteers to directly share their personal stories with senators.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund will also be launching a six-figure targeted ad buy buy that features patient voices, including the stories of two women who had an abortion before Roe v. Wade was decided. In addition, 73 Planned Parenthood Action Fund volunteer leaders have signed up to host letter writing parties in more than 35 states throughout recess — this is in addition to the more than 100 grassroots events already happening throughout Senate recess.
All of this is part of a campaign shift to ensure the personal stories of those who will be most affected by a Supreme Court with Kavanaugh on the bench are understood by the people who will be voting on his nomination. Grassroots coalitions saw the power of personal narrative from last year’s win to stop Trumpcare. With the launch of #DearSenators, constituents don’t just want to tell their senators to vote no on Kavanaugh — they want them to understand what's at stake.
Quote from Carmen Berkley, Managing Director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“While politicians like Sen. McConnell and President Trump may see this as a political game, for millions of Americans, the fight over Kavanaugh is personal. The constitutional right to have an abortion is at stake. Our ability to get health care and to live free of discrimination is at stake. People in America are worried about not just their future, but the kind of America we’re leaving to our children and grandchildren, and for generations to come. Senators must hear our stories -- the stories of those who will be most affected by Kavanaugh. People across America are already speaking out against Kavanaugh and telling their stories -- with #DearSenators, we will make sure they cannot be ignored.”
Quote from Julie-Anna Murphy, Planned Parenthood Patient Advocate
“This fight is personal, it always has been. Right now I live in Louisiana -- a state that has a trigger law. That means if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court and Roe V. Wade is overturned, abortion would be banned in my state. Women here, and all over the country, will be denied what I was rightly given: the chance to live a full, productive life. That’s why it’s so important that every senator listens to our stories. They cannot take a vote on Kavanaugh without listening to those who will be most affected by his confirmation.”
Quote from Julia Reticker-Flynn, Director of Youth Organizing & Mobilization, Advocates for Youth
“We know that there is nothing more powerful than hearing directly from those most impacted about what is as stake. Our stories, our voices, and our lives should be what guide our Senators to do everything in their power to block Brett Kavanaugh. Young people are moving this country forward, not backward. They won’t stand for a Supreme Court that denies access to abortion, as well as attacks LGBTQ rights, Muslims, immigrants and workers.Young people refuse to allow this administration to cement their platform of hate in our nation for generations to come. We are excited to join other leaders in the reproductive health field to make sure that the people most directly impacted—young people, people’ who’ve had abortions, people of color, people with limited incomes—are heard loud and clear by their Senators.”
Quote from Vernessa Shih, Story Bank Director at Center for American Progress Action Fund
“Americans know this Supreme Court nomination will impact their lives for generations to come. People are sharing their stories and demanding that their Senators remember them. The #DearSenators project does exactly what Senators have been asking for, hearing directly from their constituents - and they should get ready to hear from them en masse. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is thrilled to join Planned Parenthood and this powerful coalition to lift up the stories of so many that will be affected."
Quote from Sean Eldridge, President of Stand Up America
"The fight to block Brett Kavanaugh is not about a political showdown in Washington. It's about real people in every corner of America, whose lives and fundamental freedoms are at risk. We're seeing a groundswell of energy, from phone calls to Congress to protests across the country, to defeat Trump's extreme nominee, and we're proud to partner with Planned Parenthood to make sure every senator hears what's at stake for our health care, our freedoms, and our families."
Quote from Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health, National Women’s Law Center
“#DearSenators pushes our leaders to listen and act. Too much is at stake for them to ignore the majority of people across the country who we know oppose the Supreme Court restricting women’s constitutional rights, including abortion. From emailing to making calls to reaching their senators on social media, women are telling their stories and demanding that their senators reject this attempt to roll back their critical rights.”
Kavanaugh is the least popular Supreme Court pick in three decades, and people across the country are opposed to his nomination because, if confirmed, he would shift the balance of the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh’s record says it all: If given a chance, he would overturn or severely limit Roe v. Wade and gut the Affordable Care Act. This comes at a time where continuing protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is the top health care campaign issue for voters and the majority of voters across party lines do not want to see Roe vs. Wade overturned. A Kavanaugh Supreme Court justice is not what the American people want-- and with #DearSenators constituents are able to directly tell their senators why.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.
Stand Up America is a progressive advocacy organization with over two million community members across the country. Focused on grassroots advocacy to oppose Trump's agenda, Stand Up America has driven over 300,000 phone calls to Congress to defend health care, oppose Trump's extreme nominees, and protect the Trump-Russia investigation.