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Political Arm of Planned Parenthood to Spend Record-Setting $10 Million in North Carolina to Get Pro-Choice Democrats Elected

Source: The New York Times

Considering North Carolina’s status as one of the most important battleground states in the country, it’s no surprise that political organizations, donors and candidates’ campaigns are planning to spend big bucks here ahead of November’s election.

The political arm of Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic will spend $10 million on organizing efforts in the Tar Heel State, its largest-ever investment in a single state, The New York Times reported.

According to The Times, the money will pay for canvassing operations in select swing counties, new field offices and digital advertisements. In addition to the massive investment, the organization plans to knock on more than one million doors to talk to voters about the importance of preserving access to abortion.

While there are no abortion measures on the ballot in North Carolina, there are candidates – like Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson – who have said they would ban abortion completely if elected. Democrats are counting on the issue to fire up voters to come out and vote for Attorney General Josh Stein, who is a strong supporter of reproductive rights, in the gubernatorial race against Robinson.

There is also hope that these voters will boost President Joe Biden’s chances as well. It has been well documented that Democrats haven’t won a presidential contest in North Carolina since 2008 and Biden lost to Donald Trump by slightly more than one point in 2020.

As the only state in the Deep South to allow abortions past six weeks of pregnancy, Democrats and reproductive rights advocates have focused on highlighting Robinson’s desire to ban all abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. If Republicans keep their supermajority in the legislature, Robinson would likely have a relatively clear path to restricting abortion even further than the current 12-week ban.

“As we head into November, all eyes are on North Carolina because abortion access across the entire region will be determined by the results of this election,” said Emily Thompson, the deputy director of Planned Parenthood Votes South Atlantic and spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes, the group’s national super PAC. “Our success is absolutely critical this year to protect abortion access and defend the bodily autonomy of every North Carolinian.”

Planned Parenthood’s political investment will also focus on 16 state House and Senate races, where Democrats need to win just one additional seat to break the NCGOP’s legislative supermajority.

Planned Parenthood’s community organizers told The Times that they will focus specifically on reaching suburban white women in the early months of their canvassing, arguing that they are among the most persuadable voters on the issue. The group has also hired organizers who will focus specifically on mobilizing young, Black and Latino voters. 

The first phase of its organizing began in late April, with a daylong training near downtown Raleigh that taught canvassers how to communicate to voters the ways that North Carolina’s politics are part of the regional battle for reproductive rights – and how to do that in short conversations.

Other groups operating in the state, like Red Wine and Blue, a nonpartisan group that organizes women in the suburbs to come together in support of specific policies, are focusing solely on abortion messaging ahead of the election.

Janice Robinson, the North Carolina director for the organization, said RWB is hoping to get at least another 5,000 new members in the state, mostly by focusing on protecting abortion access.

“I feel North Carolina is at the forefront of that fight,” she said. “So we are prepared to fight with everything in us to stop what’s happening in North Carolina and we will not give up.”

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