WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced its first U.S. Senate endorsements for the 2022 election cycle. There are 10 candidates in this initial slate of endorsements. Six are running in highly-competitive races: incumbent Senators Mark Kelly of Arizona, Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, and challengers Charles Booker of Kentucky and Cheri Beasley of North Carolina.
We are in a crisis moment: The threat to the constitutional right to an abortion has never been greater. In 2021 alone, nearly 600 state abortion restrictions have been introduced across the country; over 100 have been enacted into law — more than in any year since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. In the coming months, the Supreme Court could allow states to ban abortion altogether. With a slim majority in the Senate and progress hanging precariously in the balance, these endorsements represent a major push to not only protect, but to expand the pro-reproductive health and rights majority in the United States Senate.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Over the last few months, we have seen the historic passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act in the House and the Supreme Court’s refusal to block S.B. 8 in Texas, an unconstitutional law that renders the right to abortion effectively meaningless in the state. These moments symbolize both the progress that is possible in advancing access to sexual and reproductive health care, and the enormous threat to our health and rights. The 2022 elections will be a deciding factor in where we go from here. These key Senate races are critical to ensure that Congress and the Biden administration can protect access to care as states continue to threaten sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“Going into next year, it is of paramount importance to protect the seats held by Senators Cortez Masto, Hassan, Warnock, and Kelly, and look toward expanding the number of reproductive rights champions in the Senate. Given their unwavering commitment to defending and securing access to health care in their own communities and across the country, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund proudly entrusts Charles Booker of Kentucky and Cheri Beasley of North Carolina with its endorsement.”
In Kentucky, Charles Booker — a former state representative from Louisville — is challenging Republican Senator Rand Paul. As a legislator, Booker fought tirelessly to protect access to sexual and reproductive health in his state. After a narrow primary loss in 2020 for the U.S. Senate, Booker founded Hood to the Holler, a grassroots organization that builds on the values that have led his whole life, and he aims to break down barriers between Kentuckians and their government.
In North Carolina, Cheri Beasley is running to fill the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr. Beasley served eight years on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and was appointed chief justice in March 2019, becoming the first Black woman to hold the position. As a judge, Beasley is uniquely qualified to understand the current threat to our constitutional rights and she is committed to bringing her experience to the United States Senate to protect and defend more than 50 years of precedent.
The Action Fund also endorsed reproductive health champions Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT-SEN), Tammy Duckworth (IL-SEN), Chuck Schumer (NY-SEN), and Patty Murray (WA-SEN).
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.