Senate

Planned Parenthood launches six-figure Supreme Court ad campaign

Greg Nash

Planned Parenthood Action Fund is launching a six-figure ad campaign as part of a broader effort by progressive groups to highlight personal stories of individuals who could be impacted if President Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is confirmed to the Supreme Court.

The buy, announced Wednesday, includes TV ads in Maine and Alaska, the home states of two potential GOP swing votes: Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. It also includes a nationwide digital ad.

“We cannot take any state for granted and we’re not going to, so we will be running those ads all across the country,” said Carmen Berkley, the managing director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

{mosads}The ads will include “patient voices,” including two women who had an abortion before the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund ads come as a coalition of outside groups is stepping up efforts to block Kavanaugh, who, if confirmed, is expected to shape the political leaning of the Supreme Court for decades.

The groups launched the #DearSenators campaign on Wednesday to focus on Kavanaugh’s impact on health care and access to abortion.

“What we’re hearing is that when most Americans talk about what is at stake at this fight they’re not thinking about a political showdown in Washington, D.C. They’re thinking about their family. … What our senators do next will impact real people in every corner of this country,” said Sean Eldridge, the president of Stand Up America.

In addition to Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Stand Up America, Advocates for Youth, Center for American Progress and National Women’s Law Center are taking part in the campaign to shift the conversation around Kavanaugh from political to personal.

The groups are launching a website as part of their campaign that will include recordings of individuals’ stories, as well as a way for supporters to send senators a voicemail to describe how Kavanaugh’s confirmation would impact them or details for sending a letter.

The new campaign comes as outside groups are trying to increase pressure on potential Kavanaugh swing votes as senators are back in their home states for a truncated two-week August recess.

Democrats can’t block Kavanaugh on their own after Republicans nixed the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court nominations last year.

Republicans hold a 51-seat majority in the Senate. If Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is battling brain cancer, doesn’t return for the Kavanaugh vote, Democrats will need to win over at least one GOP senator. If he returns, and votes “yes,” they would need to win over two.

With Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) already announcing his support for Kavanaugh, Collins and Murkowski are viewed as the most likely potential GOP swing votes.

Democrats would also need to keep their entire 49-member caucus united, even as several vulnerable incumbents run for reelection in states won by Trump. Three Democratic senators — Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) — voted for Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

But Democrats are hoping that if they can rally the public in opposition to Kavanaugh that will sway at least one GOP senator to vote “no,” as well as keep their own caucus in line.

Tags Donald Trump Heidi Heitkamp Joe Donnelly Joe Manchin John McCain Lisa Murkowski Rand Paul Susan Collins
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