Connect with us

Politics & Elections

Planned Parenthood Votes! RI PAC: Primary races provide victories for reproductive freedom



On Wednesday, September 12, 2018, Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island PAC (PPV!RI PAC) celebrated the victories of 15 reproductive health champions in the Democratic primaries along with the re-nomination of Gina Raimondo for Governor of Rhode Island. This total includes four State Senate races and 11 State Representative races. In the 11 races where PPV!RI PAC endorsed candidates were facing an opponent endorsed by anti-choice organizations, Rhode Island voters chose seven pro-choice candidates, including defeating two incumbents, and the four losses were to incumbents.

“These results show that Rhode Island voters support candidates who are proud champions of reproductive freedom. Governor Raimondo and the House and Senate candidates are committed to passing the Reproductive Health Care Act and protecting the reproductive freedom of Rhode Islanders, including access to safe, legal abortion, from the attacks by President Trump and his allies in Congress,” said Amanda Skinner, PPV!RI PAC member and CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island (PPV!RI).

“In 2016, voters chose nine new champions of reproductive freedom for the General Assembly. In the two special elections for State Senate since then, both women ran as proud, pro-choice candidates and beat opponents who oppose reproductive freedom,” said Craig O’Connor, Treasurer of PPV!RI PAC. “Last night, voters showed that they support allies of reproductive health care and will do so again in November. We look forward to the 2019 General Assembly session and working with our allies on expanding access to reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion, family planning services and comprehensive sexual health education.”

“Planned Parenthood, our patients, staff and thousands of Rhode Island activists and donors are especially excited to see so many women step up to run – and win,” added Skinner. “We need the strong leadership of Governor Raimondo and our endorsed candidates. The four Democrats who control the Rhode Island General Assembly, all men, refuse to protect reproductive freedom, including access to safe, legal abortion. Their refusal to act in the 2018 General Assembly session places them closer to Donald Trump than to the platform of the Democratic Party they lead. We encourage Rhode Island voters to remember this as they vote in the general election this fall.”

The need to act in Rhode Island is clear. NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Rhode Island an F rating in 2016 – the same grade as Texas, South Carolina and Oklahoma. The Rhode Island state constitution says, in its section on equal protection and due process, that “Nothing in this section shall be construed to grant or secure any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof.”

The Trump Administration, and its allies in Congress, have waged an assault on reproductive freedom for years. Their efforts include attempts to defund Planned Parenthood by stripping away protections for contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act; and instituting a domestic “gag rule” on Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. The “gag rule” would make it illegal for doctors and nurses across the country to tell their patients how to access abortion safely and legally. Currently, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court threatens reproductive rights, including access to safe, legal abortion, and civil rights for people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community and more.

“Rhode Island voters made their support for reproductive freedom clear during the primary. We fully expect the Rhode Island General Assembly to respect the voters of this state and pass the Reproductive Health Care Act. We are excited about these new pro-women’s health candidates who will be vocal leaders in the General Assembly this year and work to improve the NARAL score,” O’Connor said. “We are confident these champions of reproductive freedom will work to preserve and expand access to full reproductive health care services for the people of Rhode Island.”

Winning PPV! RI PAC Endorsed Primary Election Candidates:

Can you help Uprise RI?

Funding for our reporting relies on the generosity of readers like you. Our independence allows us to write stories that hold RI state and local government officials accountable. All of our stories are free and available to everyone. But your support is essential to keeping Steve and Will on the beat, covering the costs of reporting many stories in a single day. If you are able to, please support Uprise RI. Every contribution, big or small is so valuable to us. You provide the motivation and financial support to keep doing what we do. Thank you.

Become a Patron!
Opens in a new tab - you won't lose you place

Statewide Races

Governor: Governor Gina Raimondo (Democrat)

Rhode Island Senate

*Senate District 5 – Sam Bell (Democrat)

*Senate District 14 – Valerie Lawson (Democrat)

*Senate District 24 – Melissa Murray (Democrat)

Senate District 35 – Bridget Valverde (Democrat)

Rhode Island House

House District 3 – Representative Moira Walsh (Democrat)

House District 4 – Rebecca Kislak (Democrat)

*House District 5 – Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (Democrat)

House District 9 – Representative Anastasia Williams (Democrat)

*House District 13 – Mario Méndez (Democrat)

*+House District 33 – Representative Carol Hagan McEntee (Democrat)

House District 59 – Representative Jean Philippe Barros (Democrat)

House District 63 – Representative Katherine Kazarian (Democrat)

+House District 66 – Liana Cassar (Democrat)

House District 68 – Laufton Ascensao (Democrat)

House District 69 – Representative Susan Donovan (Democrat)

Additional PPV! RI PAC Endorsed Candidates in General Election:

Statewide Races

Secretary of State: Secretary Nellie Gorbea (Democrat)

General Treasurer: Treasurer Seth Magaziner (Democrat)

Rhode Island Senate

Senate District 3 – Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat)

Senate District 8 – Senator Sandra Cano (Democrat)

Senate District 9 – Senator Adam Satchell (Democrat)

+ Senate District 11 – Senator James Seveney (Democrat)

+ Senate District 13 – Senator Dawn Euer (Democrat)

Senate District 15 – Senator Donna Nesselbush (Democrat)

Senate District 28 – Senator Joshua Miller (Democrat)

Senate District 32 – Senator Cynthia Coyne (Democrat)

+ Senate District 34 – Jennifer Douglas (Democrat)

Senate District 37 – Senator Susan Sosnowski (Democrat)

Rhode Island House

House District 1 – Representative Edith Ajello (Democrat)

House District 2 – Representative Chris Blazejewski (Democrat)

+ House District 12 – Representative Joseph Almeida (Democrat)

House District 18- Representative Art Handy (Democrat)

+ House District 19 – Representative Joe McNamara (Democrat)

+ House District 20 – Representative David Bennett (Democrat)

+ House District 30 – Justine Lutzel Caldwell (Democrat)

House District 31 – Representative Julie Casimiro (Democrat)

+ House District 34 – Representative Teresa Tanzi (Democrat)

+ House District 35 – Representative Kathleen Fogarty (Democrat)

+ House District 40 – Lauren Niedel (Democrat)

+ House District 41 – Michael Steiner (Democrat)

+House District 46 – John Lyle (Republican)

House District 49 – Representative Michael Morin (Democrat)

House District 60 – Karen Alzate (Democrat)

House District 62 – Representative Mary Duffy Messier (Democrat)

House District 67 – Representative Jason Knight (Democrat)

+ House District 72 – Terri Cortvriend (Democrat)

House District 73 – Representative Marvin Abney (Democrat)

House District 74 – Representative Deborah Ruggiero (Democrat)

House District 75 – Representative Lauren Carson (Democrat)

* indicates candidate ran against someone endorsed by anti-choice organizations in Primary Election

+ indicates candidate will face endorsed anti-choice candidate in General Election

About the Author

Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island is the advocacy and social welfare arm of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.