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Scarborough, ME — The Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the Planned Parenthood Federal PAC today announced the endorsement of Chellie Pingree for Congress in the election for Maine's 1st district. Pingree, a leader and long-standing champion for reproductive health and safety, is running in the Democratic primary.

"Women and families in Maine are fortunate to have a field of strong pro-choice candidates running against each other in the Democratic primary for the 1st Congressional District," said Chris Quint, Maine Director of Public Affairs for the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England Action Fund. "However, during this time of constant attack by the Bush administration and his far-right allies in Washington, we are proud to put our organization's support behind the pro-choice candidate who we believe will be the strongest and most effective leader on behalf of affordable access to the reproductive health services and education that all Americans deserve. That candidate is Chellie Pingree."

In the Maine Legislature, Pingree sponsored legislation that required insurance companies to include contraceptive coverage in prescription drug plans. "Thirty-two states, including Maine, were considering contraceptive coverage laws at roughly the same time," continued Quint. "Maine was a leader in passing this important legislation because of Chellie Pingree. She was the lead sponsor on this bill and saw it through the Legislature and ultimately signed into law."

"We must look forward in order to turn back George W. Bush's failed abstinence-only policy and his short-sighted and relentless attempts to eliminate funding to ensure low-income women's access to birth control," said Quint. "During these challenging times, it is important for us to stand next to a proven and effective leader who will not only vote in support of our issues, but will champion the cause of reproductive health education, services, and rights. Chellie Pingree has proven herself to be that leader."

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, not-for-profit national organization that engages in legislative, educational, and electoral activity. Planned Parenthood Federal PAC is a separate segregated fund of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which supports pro-choice, pro-family planning candidates for federal office. The Planned Parenthood Federal PAC also acts as a federal political committee for nearly 80 state and local Planned Parenthood action funds across the country.