Planned Parenthood Supporters Help Usher In Leadership in Pennsylvania and Virginia

Washington, DC --- Yesterday’s elections saw states elect new leaders with strong records on reproductive rights.  Multiple candidates who support women’s health won in contentious elections in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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

“Women and men across Pennsylvania and Virginia showed that they will not stand for threats to basic, reproductive health care --- such as lifesaving cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and birth control. From the thousands of volunteers across these states to the millions more who made their voices heard at the ballot box, American voters have shown that they have no appetite for these relentless attacks against access to health care.  We will never stop fighting --- and will do all we can to ensure that the millions across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood will continue to get access to health care --- no matter what.”  

In each of these states, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations launched powerful voter contact efforts to ensure supporters made their voices heard on election day.

In Virginia, canvassers knocked 50,000 doors to talk to voters about how important these state elections were for women’s health.  A key victory was seen in VA State Senate District 29.   

“Virginia elected a real champion for women’s health care in Jeremy McPike. McPike understands the importance of health care access, and will be a strong advocate for our cause in the Virginia State Senate,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC.

As Governor McAuliffe has demonstrated through his actions to reverse restrictive and politically motivated building requirements, that Virginia lawmakers have a direct impact on the life and health of women.  

In Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates and PAC launched an unprecedented campaign to educate and mobilize voters around Supreme Court nominees that support women’s health. Overall, Planned Parenthood canvassers knocked over 70,000 times to talk face to face about the role that Supreme Court justices have on women’s health, equality, and justice. As many as 10,000 voters committed to cast their ballot -- nearly double the commitment rate from voters canvassed in previous election cycles.

“In a race where turnout was exceptionally low, that personal connection to a trusted organization such as Planned Parenthood has made the difference,” said Sari Stevens, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC. “Women not only recognized the court’s importance on our health and lives, but also committed to action by getting out and voting. This is a message that shouldn’t soon be forgotten.”

As a result Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty, and David Wecht yesterday claimed victory in the statewide Supreme Court race. The outcome will help shape policy around women’s health for years to come in PA and will play a critical role in redistricting in 2020.

Planned Parenthood’s ability to serve patients who rely on Medicaid has become a political issue this year, as has women’s ability to access basic reproductive health care like safe and legal abortion, birth control, and STI and cancer screenings. GOP candidates have taken more and more extreme positions.  This extreme anti-abortion agenda is not what Americans want.