Planned Parenthood clinics to help register voters

Planned Parenthood will soon begin registering people to vote at its clinics across the country in the midst of an election year that has spurred the group’s first-ever presidential primary endorsement.

The group, which serves about 2.5 million patients each year, says it will register voters “regardless of their background, beliefs, or political ideology.” The effort will be run by volunteers in 45 states. 

But the campaign, which will take place in person as well as online, will likely help Democrats. Planned Parenthood patients tend to skew younger and lower-income, and many are also minorities.

Those same groups are also more likely to be affected by stricter voting laws around the country, such as new ID mandates. Planned Parenthood said the effort is intended to help “historically disenfranchised” communities that face hurdles to voting.

People can register in person at health centers, college campuses and other community health locations, as well as online.

“No matter what your political beliefs are, if you don’t or can’t vote, then you can’t elect officials who will keep your best interests in mind,” spokeswoman Anna Keene wrote in a statement to The Huffington Post, which first reported the story.

Planned Parenthood’s political arm has become increasingly active in this year’s election. The group plans to spend $20 million ahead of the fall election to help boost Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as well as Democratic candidates in key Senate races in New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Planned Parenthood threw its support behind Clinton in January, marking its first primary endorsement in its 100-year history.

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