Planned Parenthood PAC Launches $1.25M Effort in PA
The push to promote pro-choice Democrats in Pennsylvania from this organization is set to be underway with a seven figure electoral program.
Planned Parenthood Votes, the super PAC branch of Planned Parenthood, announced that Thursday will be the official virtual launch for the Pennsylvania effort of its electoral program as part of its “We Decide 2020” campaign to “elect champions for reproductive rights.”
The group’s $1.25 million program in Pennsylvania is aiming to boost Planned Parenthood Action Fund-endorsed federal candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden, congressional hopefuls Christina Finello in the 1st District, Eugene DePasquale in the 10th District, plus assisting Attorney General Josh Shapiro in his reelection bid, and other down ballot candidates for the state legislature.
The group is aiming to connect with more than 65,000 voters across the commonwealth by Election Day through a “voter contact and relational organizing program, paid digital advertising, and a robust direct mail program,” according to a release from the group.
“Pennsylvanians know what’s at stake for reproductive health care,” said Emily Callen, a Spokesperson from Planned Parenthood Votes.
“That’s why Planned Parenthood Votes is organizing in every corner of the state to elect Scranton native Joe Biden, an experienced leader who will expand access to health care and reproductive rights, and always put people first,” Callen continued. “We’ve fought back every step of the way — and this November, we’re taking that fight to the ballot box.”
The group described Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) and Scott Perry (R-York), who they are attempting to unseat by boosting Finello and DePasquale, as “anti-abortion politicians.”
“For years, we’ve watched anti-abortion politicians like Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick and Scott Perry vote to defund Planned Parenthood and attack abortion access, affordable birth control, and so much more,” Callen said in a statement. “The stakes for our health and livelihoods have never been higher —we can’t afford another four years of Trump working with representatives like Perry and Fitzpatrick to turn back the clock.”
Susan B. Anthony List, a group that aims to elect pro-life candidates, announced that Pennsylvania is one of their nine key swing states in their at least $45 million program that will fund grassroots organizing, polling, and paid advertisements.
SBA List has announced that reelecting President Donald Trump is the group’s top focus in the state, but hasn’t announced an official effort to boost congressional candidates in the state. However, a spokesperson from SBA List told PoliticsPA in March that they haven’t ruled out assisting in various U.S. House races across the state, where they see fit.
The Republican National Committee did not immediately respond for comment.
In the release about the group’s endorsement of Shapiro, they pointed to him taking the Trump administration to the Supreme Court over allowing employers to cut off access to birth control and the incumbent joining a lawsuit to “counter the Trump administration’s Title X abortion gag rule that has blocked access to reproductive care.”
Shapiro is facing Republican Heather Heidelbaugh, a former Allegheny County Councilwoman and Pittsburgh-area attorney, for his reelection bid for the statewide office in November.
The group also has its sights set on promoting pro-choice Democrats in the effort to flipping the chamber toward a “reproductive rights majority.”
The group is formally backing three incumbents and five challengers for seats in the General Assembly.
The lone Democratic incumbent Senator the group is backing is Pam Iovino (D-Allegheny), who represents the 37th District. Iovino flipped the seat blue in a special election in April 2019 by 4 points over Republican D. Raja. However, in 2016, Trump carried the district and the GOP state Senate incumbent, Guy Reschenthaler, won by 21 points over his Democratic challenger.
The Democratic incumbents on the state House they are helping to reelect are Reps. Jennifer O’Mara (D-Delaware) and Kristine Howard (D-Chester).
The two Democratic Senate hopefuls the group will boost are Janet Diaz (SD-13), who is attempting to unseat state Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster), and John Kane (SD-9), who is challenging state Sen. Tom Killion (R-Delaware).
The three Democratic House challengers the group is backing are Brittney Rodas (HD-105), Lindsey Drew (HD-106), and Emily Skopov (HD-28).
Rodas is challenging state Rep. Andrew Lewis (R-Dauphin), who won the seat in the 105th District in 2018 by 1 point in a district that Trump carried by 7 points in 2016. Drew is attempting to unseat state Rep. Thomas Mehaffie (R-Dauphin), who won his most recent reelection bid by 9 points in a district that Trump carried by 7 points in 2016. Skopov is facing Republican Rob Mercuri for the seat formerly held by Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny). Turzai bested Skopov for the seat in 2018 by 9 points in a district Trump won by 9 points.
A Franklin and Marshall College poll released in January 2020 of Pennsylvania registered voters showed that 33% said the abortion should be legal under any circumstances, 52% voting for abortion to be legal under certain circumstances, 13% saying that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, and 3% who weren’t sure.