The ads uplift the voices of Mainers as they explain why they want Sen. Susan Collins to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh
Washington, DC- Today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced the launch of a six-figure targeted ad buy in Maine, elevating the voices of everyday women in Maine as they explain their opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and ask Sen. Collins to vote no on his confirmation. The ads are both broadcast/cable and digital, and they respond to her stated desire to hear from her constituents.
The ads include footage from a focus group conducted in Maine with swing voters immediately following Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. During pre-screening, the participants self-identified as seven independents and one Democrat. Seven of the eight women eventually identified themselves, during the focus group, as supporters of Susan Collins during her 2014 re-election campaign. The participants were neither strong opponents nor strong supporters of abortion rights. The findings were consistent: All eight women who participated in the focus groups were unequivocally opposed to Kavanaugh and strongly desired Sen. Collins to vote no on his nomination to the Supreme Court.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
Senator Collins asked to hear from Mainers and here they are, loud and clear, asking her to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The women of Maine know that Kavanaugh would overturn Roe and chip away at access to safe, legal abortion if given the chance. Kavanaugh’s record, his emails, his speeches all say what he dodged at his hearings last week — he does not see Roe v. Wade as correct law or settled law. Senator Collins needs to listen to the women of Maine and continue to stand up for their most basic freedoms byopposing Brett Kavanaugh.
Mainers are speaking out in force against Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and calling on Sen. Collins to protect their constitutional right to abortion and reject Kavanaugh.
Mainers have been mobilizing, organizing, and taking action — including letter deliveries, phone banks, and rallies. In fact, four times as many people called Sen. Collins in July about JudgeKavanaugh’s nomination than they did last July about the repeal of the ACA, according to PlannedParenthood Maine Action Fund.
One Mainer shared her pre-Roe abortion story with Collins in the Press Herald, showing that the threat Kavanaugh poses is very real and personal — and dangerous:
- “Women in need of an abortion should be able to go to health centers and doctors’ offices. No one should have to ride blindfolded from a hotel parking lot to a farmhouse in order to undergo a safe medical procedure. But I fear that will happen again if an anti-abortion rights judge like Brett Kavanaugh joins the Supreme Court.
- “I don’t have a vote in Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but I have a voice. I’m sharing my story in hopes that Senators Susan Collins and Angus King will hear me and oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.”
Background on Focus Groups Conducted in Maine:
- DRI Critical Insights recruited adult women from the facility’s database of former and potential focus group participants in commercial and political focus groups. Participants were screened on their beliefs about climate change, abortion, and gun restrictions as well as their self-identified political party.
- Nancy Belden, a professional focus group moderator and survey researcher, moderated the focus group. She is the founding partner of Belden Russonello Strategists, past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, and a board member of the Roper Center.
- Participants were paid $200 for their participation, higher than the usual industry standard of $75 or $100 due to the short timeframe under which participants were recruited.
- Participants were informed that their answers in the group could be made public, but were not informed of the sponsor until after the group’s conversation concluded. They were not paid differently based on whether their answers were used.
Brett Kavanaugh’s record and Senate Judiciary Committee hearing has made clear that if confirmed to the Supreme Court, he would be the fifth vote to gut Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion:
During Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony, he did everything he could to avoid giving clear answers on Roe vs. Wade. That includes:
- Refusing to state whether Roe was rightly decided — minutes after he did make clear that he thought U.S. v. Nixon was rightly decided.
- Ducking a question about his views on abortion while he was in the Bush White House.
- Avoiding answering a question on whether he believes the U.S. Constitution includes a right to privacy.
- Refusing to answer whether he agreed that a woman’s right to control her reproductive life affects her ability to participate in the economic and social life of the nation.
Kavanaugh also — with the coaching of Sen. Graham (who personally introduced a 20-week abortion ban that directly flouts Roe) — laid out the roadmap for how he would overturn Roe:
Graham: When it comes to overruling a longstanding precedent of the court, is there a formula you use? An analysis?
Kavanaugh: First of all, you start with the notion of precedent, and as I've said to Sen. Feinstein in this context, this is a precedent that's been reaffirmed many times over 45 years, including in Planned Parenthood v. Casey where they specifically considered whether to overrule and reaffirmed and applied all the stare decisis factors that importantly became precedent on precedent in this context. But you look at — there are factors you look at whenever you're considering any precedent.
Graham: So there is a process in place that the court has followed for a very long time. Is that correct?
Kavanaugh: That is correct, senator.
Bottom line: Kavanaugh’s record does tell a clear story — He does not believe in the constitutional right to access abortion, and has ruled to limit access to abortion and even birth control.
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 grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.