Planned Parenthood targets GOP senators in seven-figure ad campaign

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Planned Parenthood is targeting Republican senators in a seven-figure ad campaign over the Trump administration’s changes to a federally funded birth control program.

The campaign, which will include ads on television, radio and digital platforms, as well as mailers, will target three Republican incumbents who Democrats hope to defeat in 2020: Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).{mosads}

Planned Parenthood and other groups left the Title X family planning program earlier this year arguing they could not ethically follow the Trump administration’s new rules blocking providers from referring people for abortions. 

Planned Parenthood predicts outrage over the change will lead to a backlash against Trump and Republicans in 2020. 

An ad airing in Colorado argues that Gardner doesn’t “care about women’s health.”

Gardner has not made any public comments about the administration’s decision. But he and other Republicans, including Tillis and McSally, have previously voted to block federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood has pushed Congress to block the administration from enforcing the changes in an upcoming spending bill, but that is unlikely while Republicans control the Senate. 

Republicans canceled a vote on a spending bill in September after Democrats said they would offer an amendment that would block the administration’s changes.

“Congress has the power to take action, and the American people want them to stop putting politics over their health and protect access to affordable health care,” said Sam Lau, director of federal advocacy media for Planned Parenthood Action Fund. 

The changes also prohibit abortion providers from participating in the program, although Title X funds aren’t used for abortions.

The Hill has reached out to the Tillis, McSally and Gardner campaigns for comment. 

“Senator McSally is focused on providing access to actual health care for women all across Arizona, while Planned Parenthood is only focused on protecting their business model,” said McSally’s campaign manager Dylan Lefler.
“Senator McSally’s pro-life voting record speaks for itself. We expect every hysterical liberal special interest group in the country to invade Arizona with false, negative ads for the next year since they know it is a pivotal race to keep the Senate majority. They can spend all they want but Martha will not back down in the fight to protect real health care for women in Arizona, especially the ones served by community health centers who take care of far more women than Planned Parenthood, and to protect life.”
 This story was updated to include a comment from the McSally campaign. 
Tags Cory Gardner Martha McSally Thom Tillis
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