For Immediate Release: Monday, May 2, 2022
As the constitutional right to abortion hangs in peril, leading organizations unite for historic investment in a midterm election cycle to elect sexual and reproductive rights champions
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Presidents of three major advocacy and political organizations, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and EMILY’s List, announced a plan to collectively spend a historic $150 million on the 2022 midterms to ensure the election of reproductive freedom champions up and down the ballot. While each will run its own electoral programs with their own advocacy and political organizations, today’s announcement represents a united effort to aggressively respond to the unprecedented attacks on sexual and reproductive rights and abortion rights across the country and raise voters’ awareness of the lawmakers who are to blame. The campaigns will collectively reach tens of millions of voters and be spent in states such as Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, California, Kansas, Wisconsin and more to re-elect abortion rights champions and retire lawmakers who threaten our constitutional right to make our own medical decisions and control our bodies and our lives. Investments will be made up and down the ballot, from state legislatures, to Attorney Generals and governors, to U.S. Congressional races.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“This moment in the fight for sexual and reproductive rights requires all of us to come together and boldly defend our freedoms. Let’s be clear: We have reached a crisis moment for abortion access because conservative politicians have engaged in a coordinated effort to control our bodies and our futures. We must center those for whom stakes are highest, including people of color who have been most harmed by abortion bans and this generation of young people that could experience a future without the freedom to decide their own path forward. We will only be able to reclaim power when we send reproductive health champions to office at all levels of government, which is why this historic investment with our partners is so crucial. Let this be a warning to the out-of-touch politicians standing in the way of our reproductive freedom: People are watching. People are furious. And this November, the people will vote you out.”
Statement from Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America:
“With so much at stake, we must take bold action to protect and advance reproductive freedom and deliver victories up and down the ballot for reproductive freedom champions. It’s time to send an unmistakable message to politicians who have run roughshod on our freedoms: When you come for our rights, we’ll come for your seats. With a direct challenge to Roe before the Supreme Court and a coordinated effort by extremist politicians across the country to block abortion access, our fundamental rights face an existential crisis. Electing lawmakers who will ferociously fight for reproductive freedom is essential to ensuring that we’re prepared for what comes next, and that’s exactly why we’re joining our partners in this critical, unprecedented effort.”
Statement from Laphonza Butler, president of EMILY’s List:
“The threats to abortion rights are growing and the Republican Party is moving quickly toward their ultimate goal: ending the right for a woman to make decisions about her own body and eliminating access to an abortion altogether. We stand with our allies as they continue the work to support providers and patients, and our way forward is clear: we are going to replace those who stand in the way of our rights with pro-choice advocates who will listen to the voices of a majority of voters, change these policies and protect our reproductive freedom. It’s never been more crucial to secure pro-choice majorities at all levels of government to stop anti-abortion lawmakers from decimating our access to abortion across the nation.”
The collective investment will be used by Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and EMILY’s List in a variety of tactics, including, where legally appropriate, voter outreach, paid advertising, message research, mobilization efforts, polling, PAC contributions to candidates, trainings and communications guidance to support the abortion access movement, and in-person actions at state capitals and in Washington, D.C. These efforts are in addition to the robust investments made in collaboration with local and state partners, reproductive justice organizations, and other allies to mobilize supporters and push back against abortion restrictions.
Last year, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, American Bridge 21st Century, and EMILY’s List released research indicating that support for abortion rights is a winning issue heading into the 2022 midterm elections. The research found that abortion drives voters to support Democrats over Republicans by a 71-point margin. As well, voters overwhelmingly oppose efforts to severely restrict abortion access, and believe that Republicans are out of step with their personal views on the issue.
This summer, the Supreme Court could overturn or unravel the constitutional right to abortion guaranteed by Roe v. Wade when it issues a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case on a Mississippi abortion ban. Even with Roe in place, the right to an abortion is a right in name only for millions of people, due to systemic barriers and abortion restrictions that target Black, Latino and Indigenous communities, and people with low incomes. Access to abortion in Texas has essentially been blocked since September 2021 because the Supreme Court has allowed Texas’s S.B. 8 ban to remain in effect. This year alone, over 350 abortion restriction bills were introduced in 41 state legislatures.
These abortion bans and restrictions are deeply unpopular with voters:
- A Gallup poll finds that 80% of the American public think abortion should be legal
- A Marquette poll finds that voters oppose overturning Roe by a 30 point margin
- A CNN poll finds that nearly 70% of Americans do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
- A Washington Post-ABC poll finds that 75% of people say decisions on abortion should be left to the woman and her doctor, including 95% of Democrats, 81% of independents and 53% of Republicans.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.