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Editorial & Opinion

Statement from the Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island PAC on recent endorsements



The Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island Political Action Committee (PPV!RI PAC) hears and respects the concerns, feedback, and disappointment expressed by some in the movement for reproductive health and rights — in particular, with the decision to not make an endorsement in the Senate district 29 Democratic primary where Jennifer Rourke is a candidate. We understand not everyone will agree with our decision-making.

“2019 was a landmark year for reproductive rights in Rhode Island. For the first time, the legal right to abortion was codified in state law under the Reproductive Privacy Act (RPA), ensuring that Rhode Islanders are no longer vulnerable to potential Supreme Court actions undermining our protections. Additionally, we have made progress on access to contraception, addressing disparities in maternal health, and so much more. 

“These victories only happened because of years of work by dedicated activists and leaders in the community, our partners in the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, and our legislative champions in the State House. We also recognize the role played by the House and Senate leaders who may not have agreed on the issue but respected the will of the people and let the RPA come to a vote. Those actions are taken into account in our endorsement process and PPV!RI PAC decided to not endorse challengers running against the three top leadership incumbents in each chamber nor against an incumbent who voted yes on the Reproductive Privacy Act

“When making endorsement decisions, the PPV!RI PAC looks at many factors, including the political landscape, our legislative priorities, and a candidate’s record on our issues. Ultimately, the PAC uses its endorsement criteria to make decisions that we believe will create the best political environment to protect and expand sexual and reproductive health and rights. Our 2020 endorsement process is not complete — we are still endorsing candidates in select primary races and will make decisions about future endorsements in the general election. 

“The political system as it exists today means that we often make challenging choices. We are committed to working with our partners to demand much-needed reforms to dismantle systems of oppression and build a more equitable democracy. 

“In the movement for reproductive freedom, there are many essential roles to be played by organizations, activists, and other partners. It is important that we work alongside and learn from reproductive justice leaders as we all fight for reproductive health and rights. We are humbled to be part of a broad and dynamic movement with partners that both challenge us and make us better. 

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“The PPV!RI PAC will continue to work with our champions to ensure reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy for all people.” 

PPV!RI’s full endorsement list can be found here. 

About the Author

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