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Planned Parenthood will spend $45 million in 2020 elections to support abortion-rights candidates

Pro-choice supporters pose for photos outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis, Missouri, May 31, 2019.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Planned Parenthood will spend $45 million to support candidates in favor of abortion rights, the largest electoral program of its kind in the group’s history.

The money will go toward supporting candidates at the presidential, congressional and state levels.

“For too long, politicians in power have stood on the wrong side of the people,” said Jenny Lawson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, the organization’s super PAC that is behind the push. “From the wave of abortion bans to the gutting of affordable birth control programs to the confirmation of anti-abortion judges, the attacks on our health and rights from Trump and his buddies in Congress have been unprecedented.”

“Our country is at a crossroads, but now it’s time for us to reclaim our power. In 2020, we’re fighting back and electing reproductive champions up and down the ballot — because our futures depend on it,” Lawson said.

The investment, which was first reported by CBS News, will fund canvassing and grassroots operations, along with digital and TV ads. Planned Parenthood aims to reach 5 million voters in nine key states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The effort, dubbed “We Decide 2020,” launched this week and comes after a volatile year for abortion-rights groups.

Republican-led states last year, emboldened by the Supreme Court’s new conservative majority and President Donald Trump’s anti-abortion policies, passed 59 abortion restrictions.

Also in 2019, a wave of state-led abortion bans defined the year in reproductive rights news. Each was temporarily blocked in court, but some states will appeal to higher courts.

Read more: The battle over abortion rights: Here’s what’s at stake in 2020

Experts project 2020 could be just as volatile.

The Supreme Court in March will take up its first major abortion-related case with both of Trump’s appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, on the bench.

The high court will review a 2014 Louisiana law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where the abortions are provided. Opponents said it would effectively one abortion provider for a state with about 04.5 million residents.

On Jan. 2, 207 lawmakers, including two Democrats, filed an amicus brief in the case, urging the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that legalized abortion.