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First Planned Parenthood Alum In Recent History Elected to the United States Senate

Saint Paul, MN – Today, Minnesotans made history in electing U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) to represent them in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Smith’s win marks the first time a former Planned Parenthood employee has been elected to serve in Congress in recent history, as well as the first time Minnesota has sent two women to represent them in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Smith has been an unwavering champion in protecting access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers, and she’s committed to protecting access to the full range of reproductive health and rights, including safe, legal abortion.

Since the beginning of her campaign, Sen. Smith has proudly highlighted her time as the Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS). During the fight to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Sen. Smith explained, "Most people in Minnesota deeply respect the work that Planned Parenthood does, and those are the reasons why I never shy away from the work that I believe in, and what I think most Minnesotans believe in.” Polling from Minnesota shows that roughly 70 percent of Minnesotans believe government reimbursements for preventive care provided at Planned Parenthood health centers should increase or stay the same.  

Sen. Smith has spent her time in Congress fighting for all Minnesotans’ right to access the health care they need when they need it. She has made her mark as fierce advocate for reproductive health and rights — pushing against Trump’s attempt to undermine Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, and passionately opposing Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.  

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to congratulate Sen. Tina Smith on her historic win. Minnesotans’ know Tina Smith as a fierce advocate of their health and rights and that is why they voted to send her back to D.C. Sen. Smith has solidified her reputation in the U.S. Senate as a tireless champion of reproductive health and rights — including access to safe, legal abortion.

“At a time where the Trump-Pence administration is hellbent on attacking access to reproductive health care, Sen. Smith has never backed down from the fight to make sure all Minnesotans’ control their own reproductive health care decisions. As a member of the Planned Parenthood family, Sen. Smith will continue to stand strong for one in five Minnesota women who will go to a Planned Parenthood health center in their lifetime. Tina Smith is the senator Minnesotans need and deserve — we are proud to stand with her today and every day.

Planned Parenthood Minnesota Political Action Fund  ran its largest-ever campaign in the state to elect Tina Smith and pro-women’s health candidates up and down the ballot.  They invested nearly $2 million — three times the size of any previous campaign in the state — and reached hundreds of thousands of voters in person, online, and over the phone.

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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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