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TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Elana Ross, Press Secretary, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Alexis McGill Johnson
DATE: Tuesday, September 29, 2020
RE: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Materials Ahead of First Presidential Debate

As our nation gears up for a contentious Supreme Court confirmation fight and continues to face the dual public health crises of systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump and Joe Biden prepare for their first presidential debate. The Action Fund endorsed Joe Biden in June as part of its continued endorsement of federal candidates. 

Donald Trump has failed us with his inadequate and ultimately deadly response to COVID-19, failed us with his gross mismanagement of the economic crisis, and failed us by perpetuating racism instead of leading a national reckoning against state-sanctioned violence and systemic racism. And now, he attempts to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, in the final weeks of this election, with a nominee who could undo her legacy and strip away health care coverage from millions of people. There are 17 abortion-related cases just one step from the Supreme Court – the stakes could not be higher.

Joe Biden is the only candidate for president who will stand up for our health and our rights. He was instrumental in the creation of the Affordable Care Act, which expanded birth control with no co-pay to 63 million women, and in helping to ensure that sexual and reproductive health care was accessible across the country. He has spoken out for LGBTQ+ rights, and against the systemic racism in this country that is costing Black people their lives. Biden has committed to champion access to sexual and reproductive health care — including access to abortion — and to fight for our communities. When he left the Senate, Vice President Joe Biden had a 100% voting record from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and has been clear he is ‘100% for sexual and reproductive health.’ And we are going to hold him to that.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“This election is a fight for our country’s future. We have seen the Trump administration dehumanize us, and disregard our health, our rights, and our lives. This president has attacked access to abortion and reproductive health care, attacked the people that Planned Parenthood health centers serve, and now, he’s preparing to replace a reproductive rights champion, Justice Ginsburg, with a nominee who could destroy her legacy and strip abortion access and health care coverage away from millions of Americans. Tonight, we expect President Trump to promote lies and fear on the debate stage — it’s his closing argument. But we also look forward to seeing Joe Biden combat that hate-mongering with an impassioned, reasoned response that proves why he deserves our votes.”

If you need more information or are interested in interviewing Alexis McGill Johnson, please email [email protected]. Alexis is available for live on-camera interviews and by phone. 

As vice president, Biden was instrumental in the creation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which expanded birth control with no co-pay to 63 million women, eliminated gender bias in health insurance, and helped to ensure that sexual and reproductive health care was accessible across the country. As a candidate, Biden has outlined a range of policies to protect and expand access to reproductive health care, including abortion, such as:  

  • expanding access to contraception — outlining a plan to expand the ACA and guarantee access to birth control with no co-pays, including in his proposed public option;

  • protecting the constitutional right to an abortion, including with his judicial nominations, and reversing the Trump Administration’s and many states’ all-out assaults on our right to access abortion; 

  • support for comprehensive sex education; 

  • reversing Trump’s harmful Title X gag rule — which forced Planned Parenthood affiliates and other health centers out of the nation’s only dedicated family planning program — and his dangerous global gag rule, which undermines access to sexual and reproductive health services around the world; and

  • addressing the high maternal mortality rate among Black women.

Vice President Biden has also publicly committed multiple times — including at Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s “We Decide: 2020 Election Membership Forum” last June, and more recently in the Democratic presidential debate this past March — to repealing the harmful Hyde Amendment. Biden is also the only candidate in the presidential race to address racial injustice and structural racism in this country — calling for the dismantling of the systemic racism that has proven to be deadly for so many Black people across the U.S. 

Senator Kamala Harris has also been a steadfast champion for reproductive rights and health care. In June 2019, she participated in the We Decide 2020 forum where she offered her vision for greater abortion access and expanding reproductive health care across the country. In Congress, Sen. Harris has been a leader in efforts to repeal the Hyde amendment and is a lead cosponsor of the EACH Woman Act. 

In contrast, Donald Trump has spent the past four years pushing policies that threaten access to reproductive health care and rights. More than 200,000  people in the U.S. have died in the wake of his incompetence in responding to COVID-19. He has spent his time in office dismantling access to health care — slashing the safety net, trying to block access to abortion, fighting at the Supreme Court to restrict access to birth control, remaking the federal courts with judges hostile to the right to access sexual and reprodutive health care, and trying to keep patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers. And it’s not just health care — he has attacked the rights and well-being of countless communities across the country — immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community and more. 

Last year, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations announced a historic investment of at least $45 million in key battleground states during the 2020 cycle. In January, Planned Parenthood Votes launched “We Decide 2020,” Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations’ people-powered electoral program to elect champions for reproductive rights up and down the ballot in 2020. Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations around the country will be mobilizing 16 million Planned Parenthood supporters to help people get involved and build on their power for the upcoming election. Planned Parenthood Action Fund also plans to mobilize over half a million Action Fund members this election to volunteer for and elect our endorsed candidates — including Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris.

“We Decide 2020” will be Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations’ largest electoral program ever. 


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, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.


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