Voters are Clear: House Needs Bold Reproductive Health and Rights Agenda
For Immediate Release: Nov. 6, 2018
In Clear Rejection of the Trump-Pence Administration, Voters Flip the House, Elect Leaders Who Support Reproductive Health Care
Planned Parenthood Advocacy and Political Organizations Ran Biggest Midterm Electoral Program to Date
Washington, DC – In a huge victory for reproductive health and rights, the U.S. House of Representatives flipped to a pro-reproductive health majority, and key reproductive health champions were elected statewide, including Governors-elect Gretchen Whitmer (MI), Laura Kelly (KS), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM). The U.S. House is now charged with and empowered to defend our country against the Trump-Pence agenda.
Planned Parenthood Votes and local Planned Parenthood political organizations ran their largest midterm electoral program ever. In the House races alone, they collectively spent over $5 million to reach more than 750,000 voters in 24 House districts, using a mix of robust door-to-door canvassing, digital and television ads, and mail programs.
A record number of women ran for office this year, winning decisive victories across the country. Attacks on reproductive health care and rights were a driving issue in this election and fueled an increase in political activism leading up to the midterms and on election day. Polling shows that abortion rights are now motivating more Democrats than Republicans. Since the beginning of 2016, one in five Americansengaged in protests or attended rallies, and women’s rights polled as the number one issue spurring them to action. With support for Planned Parenthood stronger than ever, the organization prepares to welcome its new president, Dr. Leana Wen, next week.
Quote from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
Tonight, voters sent a decisive message to the U.S. House: fight for our reproductive health and rights or lose your job. Voters have made clear that it is not good enough to protect the reproductive health care status quo — elected officials must be bold and expand it.
“The American people just came together and emphatically rejected two years of the Trump-Pence administration’s destructive agenda. Politicians tried to ban abortion; they tried to defund Planned Parenthood; they tried to erase the transgender community; they embraced racist and discriminatory policies –– and the American people firmly said NO. This is a sweeping victory for women, for people of color, for young people, for LGBTQ people and for everyone in this country who cares about access to affordable health care.
“Millions more could have joined them at the polls if not for the racist, wide-scale effort to disenfranchise voters. Whether our candidates win or lose, we have a responsibility to advocate for true representation.
“We know that even in the face of defeat, anti-women’s health politicians will not stop their attacks on the essential care people need. We won’t back down from this fight. Tonight we celebrate, and tomorrow we get back to work.
The 2018 midterms were marred by an effort to hinder turnout at the polls and disenfranchise people of color, people with low incomes, people with disabilities, and young people. Ending voter suppression will require intentional collaboration between volunteers, advocates, and elected officials. Planned Parenthood Action Fund condemns attempts to stop these communities — which include the communities that Planned Parenthood health centers serve — from fully participating in the democratic process.
At a time when the issues of women’s rights and reproductive health are motivating voters in unprecedented ways, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations across the country had a unique role to play in educating voters about what’s at stake and mobilizing them to vote. We invested in a select group of races across the country where, based on our research, we believe our engagement of a very specific set of voters could help decide the outcome.
Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations ran their largest midterm electoral program in organization history called March.Vote.Win. The program invested $20 million in 10 states –– Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin –– to elect candidates that will protect access to reproductive health care. The tactics focused on direct voter contact methods like door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, and relational organizing, and included TV and digital ads.
Reaching young people and people of color through Win Justice coalition:
In addition to March.Vote.Win, Planned Parenthood Votes joined the Win Justice coalition –– a multi-million dollar program in conjunction with Color of Change PAC, Center for Community Change Action, and SEIU, together with their local partners, focused on mobilizing infrequent midterm voters, mostly young people and people of color, in three key states –– Florida, Michigan Nevada. The Win Justiceprogram engaged over 5.5 million voters in the midterms.
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, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.
Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.
Paid for by Planned Parenthood Votes, 123 William Street, NY NY 10038. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.