Planned Parenthood multi-faceted Political Efforts
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2018-06-20

Over the last few months, we’ve brought you numerous stories about Planned Parenthood gearing up for the 2018 elections. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, our newsfeed has been humming with a number of different initiatives Planned Parenthood is using to try and ensure its candidates win election in November. They generally fall into three categories:

  1. Bucks for Votes. Planned Parenthood continues to announce that it is putting millions of dollars into political campaigns across the country. It is focusing on races for the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, and various races for state governors. Just this past week, for example, Planned Parenthood’s political action committee in Pennsylvania announcedits intent to spend $1.5 million to support Gov. Tom Wolf's re-election campaign and other candidates up for election this fall. PP intends to do door-knocking visits, phone calls, texts, direct mail and digital advertising in Allegheny, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, Lehigh, Reading, Centre, Dauphin and Erie counties.
  2. Community Outreach Centers. Planned Parenthood of the North Country in New York State is leading the way in establishing Community Outreach Centers to proselytize young people.
     
    1. The first of these centers opened last December in the Paddock Arcade in Watertown, NY. According to Planned Parenthood, "The space (is being) used as a place for teens to hang out after school, whether it's to work on homework or engage in education-focused activities, or perhaps just to relax in a safe space."
    2. Now, PPNC has announced the opening of another COC in Canton, NY. This new, non-medical services, space will open in July and “will be furnished with couches and chairs and will also serve as a safe, relaxing spot for members of the LGBT community members and others to gather.” Support groups are also expected to meet there. The new Canton center is expected to open by July 1 and will be “geared strongly toward college students, but also open to community members.” 
    3. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania runs a similar center called “The Spot.” As described by PP, “The SPOT provides lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied youth with an accepting and empowering environment. The group supports understanding and respect through its activities and by creating a place without harassment, judgment or violence.” Activities include educational programs and recreational activities.
     
    Although some of the Community Outreach Center activities have been around for years, information being received at STOPP headquarters indicates that, in 2018, these activities are primarily focused on turning out the vote for Planned Parenthood candidates in November.
  1. Training Sessions. After having run training sessions for activists over the last nine months, Planned Parenthood is now gearing up for what it is describing to its supporters as “our largest training in Planned Parenthood Action Fund history—and it's the perfect chance for advocates like you to learn how to build power in your community and fight back against this administration's dangerous agenda.” The session is called The Power of Pink and it will take place in the Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan, from July 27-29. Planned Parenthood is expecting 3,000 or more attendees.
     
    1. TO FIND OUT ALL ABOUT THE POWER OF PINK CONFERENCE, GO TO https://nvite.com/PPAF/cd3c- IN THE PAST, PP HAS DISABLED LINKS LIKE THIS ONCE WE MAKE IT PUBLIC. SO GO THERE IN A HURRY, WHILE IT IS STILL ACTIVE.