WASHINGTON - Following the news Republicans have narrowly won control of the United States Senate, Planned Parenthood Action Fund released the following statement underscoring the important role that women’s health played in key races, with Republicans moderating their positions on issues like access to safe and legal abortion and birth control:   

Statement of Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Many of these races should have been landslides, but women’s health kept them close.  In several key races, Republicans won by significantly moderating their positions on women’s health and disavowing their own records. They won as moderates, and the American people expect them to govern as moderates.

“Data is still coming in, but it appears that young women and especially women of color voted in larger numbers than they did in 2010, and voted for women’s health champions, likely keeping races closer than they would have been otherwise.

“There’s a national consensus in favor of women’s health and rights, which is why virtually no major candidates in swing races ran on platforms to restrict women’s health. It’s become very hard for candidates to win state elections if they’re perceived as opposed to women’s health – and it will be even harder in 2016.

"Planned Parenthood will work with the Administration and the new Congress to protect women’s health by keeping the Affordable Care Act intact, preserving federal family planning programs that low-income women rely on for birth control and cancer screenings, protecting access to safe and legal abortion, and ensuring that fair-minded judges are confirmed.”

Preliminary data shows:

·         In New Hampshire, Senator Jeanne Shaheen won women by 19 points and by 25 points among unmarried women.

·         In Michigan, Gary Peters won women by 22 points, African American women by 87 points, and single women by 52 points.    

·         In Colorado, where Cory Gardner went to great lengths to moderate his positions on women’s health, Udall won women by 12 points – less than the 16 points that Bennet won women by in 2010. 

·         In North Carolina, where Kay Hagan lost narrowly to Thom Tillis, who moderated his stance on access to birth control and other women’s health issues, Hagan won by14 among women, by 95 points among African American women, and by 34 points with single women.

Nationwide, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political groups ran our largest-ever voter education and engagement program to ensure that key voters knew the high stakes for women’s health and rights and were motivated to vote in the off-year election.

Supporters and volunteers on the ground knocked more than 2 million doors and made more than 2 million phone calls in support of the Women Are Watching program. In key states across the country, 2,500 canvassers worked with thousands of volunteers to get out the vote.