The political fundraising arm of America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, has endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president as the organization and its partner groups have vowed to triple their spending in the 2020 election cycle.
“This election is a fight for our country’s very survival,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund Acting President Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement.
“We have seen the Trump administration dehumanize us, and disregard our health, our rights, and our lives. Trump has attacked access to abortion and reproductive health care, and he has attacked the people that Planned Parenthood health centers serve: women, black people, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community and more,” she claimed.
According to Johnson, Biden is the only candidate left in the race who will “stand up” for abortion at a time when the Trump administration has enacted policies that limit government funding for organizations that provide abortions domestically and overseas.
Last year, various state governments enacted pro-life laws designed to restrict abortion past certain points of pregnancy. As many as 58 life-affirming laws were passed and signed into law across 22 states.
A pro-life law in Louisiana requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals is being considered by the Supreme Court this year. It's the first abortion-related case to be argued before the Supreme Court since the confirmations of Trump appointees Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
“[Biden] was instrumental in the creation of the Affordable Care Act, which expanded birth control with no co-pay to 63 million women, and in helping to ensure that sexual and reproductive health care was accessible across the country,” Johnson said. “Biden has committed to champion access to sexual and reproductive health care — including access to abortion — and to fight for our communities.”
Biden had a 100% voting record from Planned Parenthood before he left the Senate in 2009 to become vice president under President Barack Obama.
As a candidate, Biden has vowed to expand access to contraception and protect abortion rights, “including with his judicial nominations.”
According to Planned Parenthood, Biden has also vowed to reverse policies enacted by the Trump administration and some states relating to abortion.
Such policies include Trump’s Title X rule that prevents clinics that receive Title X family planning funding from referring patients for abortion. The rule led to Planned Parenthood’s decision to leave the Title X program, which provides funding for contraceptives, cancer screenings, STD testing and other health care services for low-income patients.
Planned Parenthood has labeled the policy a “gag rule.”
Planned Parenthood is also opposed to a policy enacted by Trump in 2017 — what it calls a "global gag rule" — prohibiting taxpayer funding from going to organizations that perform abortions overseas.
“Donald Trump is dangerous. We must do everything we can to get him out of office this November,” Johnson argued. "This election we have a choice — between Donald Trump, whose incompetence and disregard for the law are a danger to us all, and Joe Biden, who is committed to fighting for reproductive health and rights for all.”
In 2016, Planned Parenthood Action made its first-ever presidential endorsement when it endorsed Democrat nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Some believe that Clinton’s support for late-term abortion up to birth hurt her in the election. Trump’s pro-life supporters say that a defining moment of the election came in October 2016 when Trump and Clinton debated late-term abortion and the Republican nominee went on to describe what a late-term abortion entails. Meanwhile, Clinton defended her position that the government should allow abortion during the last days of pregnancy just before birth.
During the 2020 campaign, Biden has shifted his views on abortion, as he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment, a law that prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to support abortion.
In the past, Biden, a Catholic, has said he believes that life begins at conception but doesn’t want to impose his view on others who might not feel the same way. Last October, Biden was denied communion at a South Carolina church over his stance on abortion.
The denial of communion came after Biden publicly opposed a proposal to outlaw abortions in South Carolina after six weeks of pregnancy, including in cases of rape or incest.
Planned Parenthood's endorsement of Biden comes as its advocacy and political organizations announced they will spend $45 million in key battleground states during the 2020 election.
In January, Planned Parenthood Votes launched its “We Decide 2020” campaign, a “people-powered electoral program to elect champions for reproductive rights up and down the ballot in 2020.”
“Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations around the country will be mobilizing 15 million Planned Parenthood supporters to help people get involved and build on their power for the upcoming election,” a statement from Planned Parenthood Action reads. “Planned Parenthood Action Fund also plans to mobilize over half a million Action Fund members this election to volunteer for and elect our endorsed candidates —including Vice President Joe Biden.”
In the 2016 election, Planned Parenthood’s affiliated political groups spent just under $15 million on federal elections.
Susan B. Anthony List, an influential advocacy group that opposes abortion, and its political action committee, Women Speak Out PAC, have budgeted over $52 million toward a grassroots campaign to inspire Americans to vote based on pro-life values in 2020.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, SBA List pledged to make 4 million visits to voters in battleground states. But since the pandemic has limited the ability for canvassers to have face-to-face interactions, SBA List workers have reached out to voters by phone.
SBA List Vice President of Communications Mallory Quigley told The Christian Post in a recent interview that the SBA List is optimistic it will hit its fundraising goal for 2020. She said SBA List has not seen a drop in donations even though the pandemic has pushed many people out of work.
“When the coronavirus hit and the states started closing down, out of concern for not only our canvassers, we suspended door-to-door canvassing and immediately switched everyone over to the phone calls,” Quigley said. “We have been making direct voter phone calls for [about three] months. We wanted to keep the canvassers active during this time so that we can immediately relaunch as it is safe to do so.”
She said that SBA List workers have spoken with hundreds of thousands of people in six states over the phone. While the organization has field offices set up in Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina, Quigley said the organization is hiring for field directors and canvassers in Michigan, Montana, and Pennsylvania.
Canvassers, she said, visited over 800,000 voters before suspending field operations.
In 2016, SBA List canvassers canvassed 1.1 million homes and 2.7 million in 2018. Compared to past election cycles, Quigley said voters have been more eager to talk over the phone.
“Nothing compares to a face-to-face conversation. This is a difficult issue and a very personal issue,” she said. “Since 2014, I have gone canvassing with the team. Because our field team is passionate about the pro-life issue, it is more than just a political conversation happening at the door.”