Planned Parenthood to Spend $20 Million on Elections in Eight States
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2018-03-07

Planned Parenthood announced this week that its political arms (Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action Fund) will spend at least $20 million in just eight states to get its people elected to various governor and US Senate offices.

Outgoing president Cecile Richards believes she has built a political powerhouse at Planned Parenthood, and she has apparently convinced the organization’s board of directors of that fact. Part of believing that is thinking you can win any elections by throwing money and manpower at the campaign. This is exactly what Planned Parenthood, through its related political organizations, is intent on doing in 2018.

As you are aware, the United States Senate has 100 seats. The Republicans hold 52 of those seats and the Democrats hold 46. The other two seats are held by Independents who caucus and vote with the Democrats. In addition, two Republicans—Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine—almost always vote on Planned Parenthood’s side. So, when it comes to life matters, the Senate is basically split 50-50. When the vote is tied, Vice President Mike Pence casts the deciding vote—a vote that is always pro-life.

So, a primary target of Planned Parenthood is to get its people into a couple more Senate seats to ensure that the Senate will block any bills Planned Parenthood doesn’t like. After a review of the 2018 election field, Planned Parenthood has decided to focus on two seats currently held by Republicans. The first is in Arizona, where Republican senator Jeff Flake is retiring. The second Senate seat is in Nevada, where Planned Parenthood feels it has a real opportunity to oust Republican senator Dean Heller. Citizens in both Arizona and Nevada can expect to see numerous Planned Parenthood ads on TV and a full court press as Election Day nears.

In addition to the Senate elections, there will be gubernatorial elections in at least 36 states on November 6, 2018. As the Trump administration gives more and more power to the states to decide who in their state can receive federal taxpayer money, Planned Parenthood is becoming very worried. The two federal programs that provide the most money to Planned Parenthood are Medicaid (Title XIX) and the Title X family planning program. Based on changes already enacted, states have been given the administrative freedom to exclude Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from those programs. As a result, Planned Parenthood is very concerned about the party affiliation of the states’ governors.

After evaluating the various races, Planned Parenthood has decided to spend money and exert influence on governor races in eight states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Four of these states (Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio) currently have Republican governors who are not seeking reelection. Two other states (Arizona and Wisconsin) have Republican governors who can seek reelection. Only two of the states selected by Planned Parenthood currently have Democratic incumbents. In Minnesota, the governor is not seeking reelection, while in Pennsylvania the governor may seek reelection.

As is the case in the Senate, Planned Parenthood has chosen governor races where it believes it has the opportunity to replace Republicans or where it has decided Democrat races are winnable but need help. Planned Parenthood has made it abundantly clear that the figure of $20 million is the starting point, and it is prepared to add more money into these eight states to win the elections.

If you live in any of these states, please do everything you can to stop any candidate who supports Planned Parenthood.