Planned Parenthood announces $45M campaign to defeat Trump, flip Senate | TheHill

Planned Parenthood’s super PAC announced a $45 million electoral campaign on Wednesday to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi hits back at Trump over letter: ‘Only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy’ Trump directed Perry, State Dept. officials to talk to Giuliani on Ukraine: report Murkowski warns against rushing to conclusions on Trump impeachment MORE and Republicans in key Senate races. 

The investment will fund a “large-scale” grassroots organization and canvass, digital, television, radio and mail programs. 

“Next November, our very rights and freedoms will be on the ballot,” said Kelley Robinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes.

“Already, we’ve seen Trump and his buddies in Congress and state legislatures do everything they can to strip us of our rights and access to health care.” 

The campaign will focus on Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

Those states are must-wins for Trump. But Republican senators are also fighting to keep their seats in Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina in races that will determine which party controls the Senate in 2020. 

The campaign, which could exceed $45 million, will also focus on state legislatures. 

“To all the politicians working to take away our rights and undermine access to health care — you’ve been warned,” Robinson said.

“We have steadily been building our power over the last decade and we are ready to set the table on our terms. We are fired up, we are engaged, and we are going to win.”

The announcement follows a fraught year for Planned Parenthood and abortion rights activists. 

Planned Parenthood left the federal family planning program in August after the Trump administration began enforcing a ban on abortion referrals, dealing a major blow to the women’s health care provider, which has 600 clinics across the country. 

Planned Parenthood argues the ban is a “gag rule” on doctors that prevents them from telling women where they can get abortions. 

Planned Parenthood, which served more than 40 percent of patients in that program, gave up millions of dollars in federal funding by leaving it.

Several states also passed bans or restrictions on abortion this year, leading Planned Parenthood to declare a “state of emergency” for women’s health.  

Planned Parenthood saw internal turmoil this year as well with the firing of its former president, Dr. Leana Wen. 

Wen had claimed she was fired after nine months on the job because she had “philosophical” disagreements with the board of directors on how to handle attacks on abortion access, saying she viewed it as a health care issue while they saw it as a political one. 

Planned Parenthood staffers, however, have vehemently denied Wen’s characterization and instead said she had poor leadership and management skills. 

Alexis McGill Johnson, a Planned Parenthood board member, will serve as acting president through the end of the elections. 

Wednesday’s announcement comes days after the Supreme Court announced it would hear its first abortion case since Trump’s two conservative justices joined the court. 

Planned Parenthood and anti-abortion groups have been fundraising off of the decision, noting the Supreme Court’s decision could shape abortion access in the U.S. for years to come. 

The Trump administration also asked the Supreme Court Tuesday to reverse a lower court’s ruling that its rollback of ObamaCare’s contraceptive mandate is unlawful. 

The mandate requires insurance plans offer contraceptives like the birth control pill and implants with no cost sharing for patients.

But the Trump administration has issued rules, blocked by the courts, that would allow some employers to opt out of the requirement if they have religious objections to contraceptives.

Planned Parenthood and other reproductive rights groups argue the rules would let businesses interfere in their workers’ personal health care decisions.

Updated at 7:45 a.m.