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Progressive organizations launch partnership for midterm cycle to save women’s health and take back the House

Washington, D.C. – Today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Swing Left, and Organizing for Action announced a partnership to elect pro-women’s health candidates and a progressive majority in the House – activating the well-documented rage over health care, the Supreme Court, and the #MeToo movement. The organizations are working to mobilize members in 16 targeted House districts in seven states in support of the Women’s Health Day of Action on October 6. This weekend, Action Fund members and Swing Left and Organizing for Action supporters will volunteer for candidates with the shared goal of saving women’s health care and taking back the House for progressive, pro-women’s health champions. Volunteers will work with the campaigns directly to make the highest impact knocking on doors and, ultimately, making their voices heard at the ballot box. 

This partnership comes at a time when one in five people across the country have taken action since 2016, with women’s rights being the number one reason why. Health care and pre-existing conditionsare top issues this election cycle, particularly for women voters, and many candidates cite health care as the reason why they’re in the race. Republican leadership and this administration have attempted to take health care coverage away from 20 million people, tried time and time again to block patients from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers for care, attacked immigrant communities’ access to health care, ended protections for survivors of sexual assault on campus, and tried to make it easier for providers to deny health care to LGBTQ people.

Women and the people under attack are standing up and saying they won’t take it anymore – and they are looking to the midterms as the opportunity to win back power. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is the most trusted name in health care advocacy; Swing Left is a grassroots progressive organization with more than half a million volunteers – two-thirds of whom are women; Organizing for Action (OFA) is a network of battle-tested community organizers; together, these organizations are working to build and mobilize grassroots power reflective of shared progressive values after seeing them under attack for the last two years.

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

Everything is on the line in 2018. Women are fed up with politicians dismissing survivors of sexual assault, undermining access to Planned Parenthood health centers, and reshaping the Supreme Court to gut the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion. Women are poised to serve a reckoning this November that is decades in the making, and this partnership is a signal that we're all right there with them. We know that, together, our voices are too powerful to ignore, so we’re partnering with Swing Left and Organizing for Action to channel our members’ energy into victories for Action Fund-endorsed candidates at the ballot box.

Statement from Adrienne Lever, Political Director, Swing Left:

If we want to protect women’s health from the constant Republican attacks, it’s not enough to just vote this year. We need each and every person to knock on doors and make calls so that we can break out of our silos and bring about electoral change. That’s why we’re excited to work together with Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Organizing for Action to channel the tremendous energy, frustration, and anger felt by so many women – and men – into meaningful actions that will help flip the House and transform our government. Partnerships like this one make us more effective ahead of November while also building progressive power for the long term.

Statement from Katie Hogan, Executive Director of Organizing for Action:

The level of engagement and enthusiasm OFA has seen this cycle, among seasoned organizers and brand new volunteers alike, has been overwhelming – and women have been leading the charge. It's a phenomenon we've seen dating all the way back to the Women's March, and that passion has only intensified as it's become increasingly clear how much is at stake in November. We're thrilled to be working in lock-step with both new leaders in the progressive space, like Swing Left, and long-time powerhouses of activism, like Planned Parenthood Action Fund, to elect representatives who will echo these voices in Washington.

Action Fund members and Swing Left and Organizing for Action supporters around the country will be turning out as volunteers for Women’s Health Day of Action in order to take back the House for pro-women’s health champions. The partnership will continue through the November 6 midterm elections. This weekend will focus on the following districts: 

  • AZ-02: Ann Kirkpatrick
  • CA-10: Josh Harder
  • CA-45: Katie Porter
  • CA-48: Harley Rouda
  • IA-01: Abby Finkenauer
  • IA-03: Cindy Axne
  • NJ-11: Mikie Sherrill
  • NJ-07: Tom Malinowski
  • NJ-03: Andy Kim
  • TX-32: Colin Allred
  • TX-07 : Lizzie Fletcher
  • TX-23: Gina Ortiz Jones
  • VA-10: Jennifer Wexton
  • VA-02: Elaine Luria
  • VA-05: Leslie Cockburn
  • VA-07: Abigail Spanberger

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than a quarter of working-age adults with pre-existing conditions could have been blocked from accessing health care before the ACA. A Kaiser poll showed that one in three women have gone to Planned Parenthood health centers for care in their lifetime –– many of whom would have been blocked by “defunding” attempts. And about one in four women will make the decision to access safe, legal abortion, which is at risk with Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Public Policy Polling released 13 polls last year that showed a majority of voters in key swing districts support the ACA and oppose efforts to block funding from Planned Parenthood. Additionally, the polling showed that voters in these key districts were less likely to support vulnerable members of Congress who attack Planned Parenthood. Health care is also driving campaign ads. The Wesleyan Media Project found that health care is far and away the most common topic of Democratic television ads, reporting that “An astounding 63 percent of pro-Democratic ads for U.S. House discuss health care, and 16 percent contain an explicit statement about being in favor of the Affordable Care Act.”

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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 and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.

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Organizing for Action (OFA) is a non-partisan, issue advocacy organization committed to growing the grassroots movement by training, organizing and empowering a new generation of progressive leaders who seek to make real and lasting change in their communities.

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Swing Left is a national grassroots organization working to take back the House in 2018. We're building a national campaign for Democrats in 84 Swing Districts across the U.S. in three ways: by recruiting and training an army of volunteers, raising funds from grassroots donors, and building cultural momentum for the 2018 midterms on the scale of a presidential election.

Swing Left has grown to more than half a million volunteers across the United States. Go to swingleft.org and enter your zip code to find the Swing District nearest you. Once you sign up, we’ll follow up with actionable, impactful things you can do to support the race in your closest Swing District and help take back the House. For more information, visit swingleft.org.

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