Planned Parenthood Votes, the organization’s super PAC, will spend at least $45 million in the 2020 election cycle to win the Senate and White House from Republicans. That will include large-scale grassroots organizing and field work, as well as digital, television, radio, and mail communications programs.
In an emailed press release, Kelley Robinson, the PAC’s executive director, said, “Next November, our very rights and freedoms will be on the ballot. Already, we’ve seen Trump and his buddies in Congress and state legislatures do everything they can to strip us of our rights and access to health care. Who we elect will determine our access to birth control, cancer screenings, sex education, abortion access and more.”
Indeed. Thus far, the states they will invest in are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. They are all important states on the presidential and Senate board, but there is a glaring omission: Maine.
Back in 2017, Planned Parenthood Federation of America gave Sen. Susan Collins the Barry Goldwater Award, its award for Republican lawmakers “who champion reproductive health care issues and who fight to ensure the rights granted to women.” This was in recognition of Collins’ vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. Never mind that Sen. Lisa Murkowski might have been a better choice, since she took her vote quietly and without any grandstanding or attention-grabbing, but that’s the last time Collins displayed on iota of independence from the rest of the Republicans.
Worse, so much worse, she voted to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. After credible allegations from multiple women that he sexually assaulted them. After he demonstrably lied to the Senate. Her excuse was flimsy—that he promised her he would respect the precedent of Roe v. Wade. It was incredible then, and it’s laughable now, when the Supreme Court—with him on it—announced it’s taking up June v. Gee. The Louisiana case challenges a 2014 law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. This is essentially the same as the law in Texas the court struck down in 2016 in Whole Women’s Health. The only thing that’s changed is a Supreme Court with a new anti-abortion majority. Thanks to Susan Collins.
The press release from Planned Parenthood Votes says, “Broader investments are expected moving forward.” Maine really needs to be included in those investments. In the meantime, we can keep working at it.