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John Hickenlooper defeated incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner, and voters defeated 22-week abortion ban ballot measure 

Washington, DC – Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to congratulate former Gov. John Hickenlooper on his election to the U.S. Senate, unseating Sen. Cory Gardner to represent Colorado for the next six years. Action Fund supporters also celebrate the defeat of Colorado Proposition 115, which would have arbitrarily banned abortion at 22 weeks.  

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

“Coloradans have sent a clear mandate in favor of sexual and reproductive health care access by electing John Hickenlooper to the United States Senate and defeating a dangerous and arbitrary abortion ban. By sending John Hickenlooper to the U.S. Senate, voters showed the country exactly who they are and what they value. Governor Hickenlooper has spent years fighting to ensure people are able to make their own decisions about their bodies and futures without the interference of politicians. Cory Gardner, however, voted to block patients who use public health care programs from accessing care at Planned Parenthood and to confirm judges hellbent on taking away our reproductive rights; and repeatedly joined efforts by the Trump-Pence administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a senator, Hickenlooper will protect access to safe, legal abortion, strengthen the ACA, and work toward repeal of the Hyde Amendment.

“Abortion was also on Coloradans’ ballots with Prop 115, which would have banned abortion in the state after 22 weeks. Voters soundly defeated the measure, ensuring that abortion will remain accessible and safe. We know that there is no state in this country where banning abortion is popular — Cory Gardner learned that the hard way this year, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to watch the Centennial State turn pink.”

Planned Parenthood Votes ran a six-figure digital ad program to secure Colorado’s nine electoral votes for former Vice President Joe Biden and elect  Hickenlooper to the U.S. Senate. The program featured effective ads like “Yes-Man,” which slammed Gardner for co-signing the Trump agenda and made the case for Hickenlooper. Gardner is a national disgrace. By electing representatives who will prioritize their health and reproductive rights, holding Democrats’ majority in Congress, voters proved that supporting reproductive rights is not only the right thing to do, it is also politically advantageous.

As mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado, Hickenlooper demonstrated a record of supporting access to sexual and reproductive health. He signed a law that allows patients to fill birth control prescriptions for a full-year supply, and a law that promotes teaching sex education in schools, rather than abstinence-only programs. Hickenlooper also oversaw the Colorado Family Planning initiative, which made affordable, long-acting reversible contraceptives (such as IUDs) available to thousands of women in Colorado. As a presidential candidate, Hickenlooper advocated expanding the initiative nationwide. He has proposed doing away with the Title X gag rule, reestablishing Title X patients’ access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers, and expanding the program by $700 million. 

The defeat of Prop 115 represents the fourth time Coloradans have rejected an abortion ban on the ballot in the last 12 years. Proponents of this ballot measure said outright they wanted to ban abortion — even in cases of rape, risks to women’s health, or a lethal fetal diagnosis. Fortunately, voters refused to allow the measure to pass, instead voting to protect access to safe, legal abortion.

Last year, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations announced a historic investment of at least $45 million in key battleground states like Colorado during the 2020 cycle, with an emphasis on reaching women, young voters, and voters of color. 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 across the country worked to mobilize 16 million Planned Parenthood supporters to help people get involved and build on their power for this election. “We Decide 2020” was Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations’ largest electoral program ever.

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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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