RALEIGH, NC — The political wing of Planned Parenthood announced a $5 million investment in North Carolina battlegrounds on Thursday, as Democrats fight to retain the governor’s veto in one of the last abortion access points in the Southeast.
Just 32 days after Election Day, with absentee voting now underway, Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina are targeting 14 legislative swing districts with ads, mailings, phone banks and recruiting. The investment is part of an existing $50 million national campaign to protect reproductive rights in nine target states — the largest-ever election manifesto in its history.
Abortions are legal in North Carolina until 20 weeks of pregnancy, as of an Aug. 17 federal court ruling. But with Republicans only five supermajority seats away in the General Assembly — three seats in the House and two in the Senate — Democratic Administration Roy Cooper’s power to pass tougher abortion restrictions depends on the outcome. from Nov.
As neighboring states cut access to abortion in the months following the June Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, North Carolina has become one of the few safe havens for proceedings in the South.
Emily Thompson, deputy director of Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina, said different races of the state play a critical role in strengthening access to life-saving care for patients in the state of Tar Heel and those traveling from other southern states where abortion is already banned.
The committee’s top priority, she said, is to prevent a Republican supermajority in the General Assembly by focusing attention and resources on five Senate races on the battlefield.
“If we don’t elect reproductive rights champions in five major Senate races, an anti-abortion supermajority will have the vote to ban abortion in North Carolina,” Thompson said. “And if we don’t defend two crucial seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court, we’ll lose our last line of defense against restrictive state laws designed to rob us of our right to make our own health care decisions.”
In an interview this week, GOP Senate leader Phil Berger said Democrats’ accusations that Republicans would completely ban abortion in North Carolina if they get a veto-proof majority are misleading.
Berger said he is not aware of a GOP General Assembly leader who has said they personally support legislation that bans abortion outright, with no exceptions for rape, incest and patient life.
“They have not been able to identify anyone because it does not exist,” Berger said on Wednesday. He recently said he preferred to approve restrictions on abortions after about the first three months of pregnancy.
House Speaker Tim Moore has said he personally advocates limiting abortions as soon as an ultrasound first detects fetal heart activity — usually about six weeks after conception and before many patients know they are pregnant.
In addition to the state’s legislative races, Planned Parenthood funnels funds to North Carolina’s high-profile United States Senate race and two state Supreme Court races, which have become recent magnets for Democratic groups committed to protecting abortion rights across the country. .
Democrats currently hold a 4-3 majority on the panel, but with two Democratic seats up for grabs in November, Republicans need only win one to regain control of the Supreme Court for the first time in six years. The candidates have largely avoided the topic of abortion, instead presenting themselves as the neutral solution to an increasingly politicized judiciary.
But abortion rights have been at the center of the US Senate’s intensely competitive race between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican US Representative Ted Budd, who is backed by former President Donald Trump. North Carolina is one of the few states where Democrats have a strong chance of turning a seat in the narrowly divided chamber, making Beasley’s campaign a crucial part of the party’s plan to enshrine abortion rights in federal law. lay.
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