Anchorage, AK — With exactly one week until the November 4th election between women’s health champion Mark Begich and his opponent Dan Sullivan, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political groups are ramping up their efforts to get women out to the polls with a three-piece mail program and new digital ads. You can view one of the mail pieces here and the digital ads here. You can view the first wave of digital ads on Dan Sullivan’s record here and here and Pandora ads here.
“This election is a choice between the out-of-touch views of extreme politicians — and the values of Mark Begich and thousands of Alaskans who are fighting to hold onto the state they know and love,” said Jessica Cler, Alaska public affairs manager, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest. “Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations are mobilizing our supporters across the state to exercise their most fundamental freedom and vote for the candidate that will stand up and fight for them. We need to send a message to politicians like Dan Sullivan that you can’t win the support of women if you’ve spent your entire career working to send women back to another decade. The women and families of Alaska deserve better.”
Planned Parenthood advocacy and political groups are running a multi-layered campaign to ensure voters get out to vote, including door-to-door canvassing and phone calls to reach voters in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau — the largest voter contact program these organizations have ever run in the state. Already, supporters and volunteers have knocked nearly 35,000 doors and made more than 16,000 phone calls to Alaska women and families about the U.S. Senate race.
In Alaska, there is a 12-point gender gap. Mark Begich, a strong advocate for women’s health and rights, is ahead with women voters, according to a recent poll. In 2012, Alaska women showed up to vote in larger numbers than men. About 149,000 women (62% of female citizens) voted compared to 140,000 men (55% of male citizens).
Dan Sullivan: Out of Touch with Alaska Women and Families: He thinks bosses and politicians should decide whether you get access to affordable birth control: Dan Sullivan has said that he thought the deeply unpopular Hobby Lobby decision which gives bosses the legal right to deny women access to no-copay birth control was “great,” which is not what a majority of women voters think. Sixty-eight percent of women voters say that politicians who support the Hobby Lobby decision are out of touch with them and their everyday lives. [Tom Anderson Show, 1/7/14; Hart Research Associates, 7/25/14; Alaska Family Action Candidate Survey]
Would deny Alaska women and families access to Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services: Dan Sullivan said that he would support legislation that would cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, blocking access to the preventive services health centers provide to women, men and young people, including lifesaving cancer screenings, STI testing and birth control. According to the Guttmacher Institute, for every dollar spent on family planning, nearly $6 in public money is saved. Seventy-nine percent of Planned Parenthood patients live with incomes of 150 percent of the federal poverty level or less, the equivalent of $34,575 a year for a family of four in 2012. [Alaska Family Action Candidate Survey; Guttmacher Institute, August 2014]
Wants to go back to the days when insurance companies could charge women more for health care coverage: Sullivan wants to go back to the days when insurance companies could once again charge women more for their coverage and classify pregnancy as a “pre-existing condition.” He was a lead attorney general in an effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act and has said that he supports a repeal of the federal health care law. [Alaska Family Action Candidate Survey; Alaska Dispatch News, 4/20/10]
Would impose his extreme beliefs about abortion on women and their families: Dan Sullivan wants to ban abortion with no exceptions for the health of a woman. When Sullivan was attorney general, he approved an effort to put a dangerous and extreme “personhood” initiative on the Alaska ballot and said it could move forward. If enacted, the measure could interfere with personal, private medical decisions about birth control, access to fertility treatment, management of a miscarriage, and access to safe and legal abortion. Sullivan refuses to give a clear position on where he stands on the Life at Conception Act, federal legislation that would do the same thing. [Alaska Dispatch News, 8/4/14; Associated Press, 12/26/12]