Planned Parenthood announces $10 million voter campaign in North Carolina for 2024 election

Abortion remains a major part of the Democrats’ North Carolina election playbook, which will include in 2024 what abortion rights advocates describe as an unprecedented investment to get out the vote efforts.

On Thursday, Planned Parenthood affiliate groups in North Carolina launched a $10-million campaign that is aimed at convincing people who are concerned about the narrowing of abortion access to cast their votes in November.

According to representatives of Planned Parenthood Votes, and Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina the spend attempts to end a GOP supermajority in the General Assembly, which enacted new limits on abortion last year, and defeat Republican gubernatorial nominee Mark Robinson, who wanted the law to be more restrictive.

Planned Parenthood Votes spokesperson Emily Thompson stated that the $10 million investment is the largest ever campaign investment made by Planned Parenthood in North Carolina.

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Thompson, at a press conference held near the Legislative Building of North Carolina said: “Our goal is to protect abortion access. We must make sure voters are aware that abortion will be on the ballot in North Carolina this year.”

The money will be used to pay for digital ads, phone banking, mailers, and media programming at colleges. Thompson added that the money will be used to support Planned Parenthood in its goal to canvass 1 million homes before the elections.

Thompson stated that the majority of campaigning will take place in New Hanover and Wake counties, Mecklenburg County, Buncombe County, as part of a larger statewide plan. Thompson said that the four counties were selected in part due to Planned Parenthood’s health services and ongoing organizing in these regions.

The GOP-controlled legislature in the state passed a law for 2023 over Democratic Governor. Roy Cooper’s veto tightened the state ban on abortions, reducing it from 20 weeks to 12 weeks with some exceptions.

Emma Horst Martz, an organizer for Planned Parenthood, said, “These legislators had no regard whatsoever for us, or our rights, or our liberties.” “They have shown us what is in store for us if they decide our futures.”

Many speakers on Thursday specifically mentioned Robinson’s previous comments about abortion. Horst Martz called Robinson the “worst offenders in attacks on abortion.”

The Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein, who is running for governor as well and is an abortion rights supporter, and his allies claim that Robinson’s comments show he wants to ban abortions completely.

Robinson’s campaign stated that he supported an abortion ban with certain exceptions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, which is when many women are unaware they are pregnant. Robinson spokesperson Michael Lonergan stated Thursday that abortion advocates were “recycling the same old playbook,” which was doomed to failure. He also labelled Democrats’ abortion agenda “extreme and not in line with our state values.”

Thompson stated that the groups would also focus on 16 races for state legislators to end the Republican supermajority.

Planned Parenthood affiliates made an announcement a few weeks prior to the 2022 elections, announcing a $5,000,000 investment to try to preserve Cooper’s power of veto.

Initially, the Republicans fell short of a veto-proof majority in both chambers of the General Assembly by one House seat. They reached the threshold when former Democratic Rep. Tricia Cottim switched to the Republicans in April 2023. This led to changes as a result of the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.