How Planned Parenthood Influences Elections in Washington State

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Planned Parenthood is one of the largest corporate funders of liberal candidates and causes. The pro-abortion organization gave $6.6 million to political campaigns nationally during the 2014 election cycle alone – and they are spending lots of money in Washington State to influence the upcoming November elections.

According to reports from the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, Planned Parenthood and its lobbying arm, Planned Parenthood Votes, have given tens of thousands of dollars to state races so far during the 2016 election cycle – a number that will undoubtedly increase as we get closer to Election Day in November.

Planned Parenthood’s political contributions are highly partisan. Every candidate whose campaign it has contributed to is Democrat.

Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have both received campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood during this election cycle.

These contributions followed a state review, conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, into Planned Parenthood’s medical and business practices in Washington State. The review was conducted after undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress reportedly showed Planned Parenthood officials talking about how some clinics illegally performed partial birth abortions to increase the value of fetal body parts, which were then sold to medical researchers for profit.

The Attorney General later determined that Planned Parenthood had followed all applicable laws when performing abortions and donating fetal tissue. Both Governor Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson vehemently defended Planned Parenthood, chastising the Washington State legislators that asked for the investigation.

Critics have raised questions about whether Attorney General Ferguson exercised due diligence in his review of Planned Parenthood after an email exchange, which appears to show the Deputy Attorney General refusing an opportunity to examine documents that could have incriminated Planned Parenthood. FPIW launched an effort to view these documents through a public records request, but was sued by Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry who want to make sure those public documents are sealed permanently and not released to the public.

Moreover, Inslee and Ferguson supported a Skagit County Superior Court ruling that requires public hospitals that provide maternity services for patients to also perform abortions, weakening conscience protections for doctors and hospitals. The ruling was celebrated by abortion rights activists.

Planned Parenthood used candidate surveys, which it distributed to candidates earlier this summer, to determine which legislative candidates shared the organization’s political agenda before giving endorsements and campaign contributions.

In its candidate survey, Planned Parenthood attacked the forty percent of Washington’s hospitals managed by Catholic health systems, claiming that these religiously-affiliated health providers “undermine patients’ rights” and “interfere with their ability to obtain a full range of health services.” This view likely shared by the legislative candidates that have received campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood.

In addition to funding political campaigns, Planned Parenthood used its financial resources to help sway the state initiative process. It donated a large sum to Raise Up Washington, the campaign responsible for Initiative 1433. If approved by voters in November, I-1433 will raise the state minimum wage to $13.50 per hour, which economists warn will result in higher consumer prices for goods, as well as the loss of thousands of entry-level jobs.

Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest also donated thousands of dollars to Washington Won’t Discriminate, the group that misled Washingtonians about Initiative 1515. Had I-1515 been approved by voters, it would have ensured privacy for women and girls in public showers, changing facilities, and bathrooms, but it failed to gather enough signatures before the July deadline to qualify for the November ballot.

Here are the other Washington candidates and legislators who have received contributions from Planned Parenthood during the 2016 election cycle:

Mark Mullet – $1,000 Incumbent State Senator (5th Legislative District – Democrat):

Teresa Purcell – $750 Candidate for State House of Representatives (19th Legislative District – Democrat)

Kevin Van De Wege – $1,000 Candidate for State Senate (24th Legislative District – Democrat)

Marisa Peloquin – $1,000 Candidate for State Senate (28th Legislative District – Democrat)

Christine Kilduff – $1,200 Incumbent State Representative (28th Legislative District – Democrat)

Mari Leavitt – $1,000 Candidate for State House (28th Legislative District – Democrat)

Irene Bowling – $750 Candidate for State House (35th Legislative District – Democrat)

Kristine Reeves – $500 Candidate for State House (30th Legislative District – Democrat)

Michael Pellicciotti – $500 Candidate for State House (30th Legislative District – Democrat)

Steve Hobbs – $200 Incumbent State Senator (44th Legislative District – Democrat)

Annette Cleveland – $500 Incumbent State Senator (49th Legislative District – Democrat)

Additional donations for state legislative races are expected to be disclosed on Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC’s C-4 form, to be filed with the Public Disclosure Commission before October 18th.

In addition to campaign contributions, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest has also released a list of endorsements for candidates in Washington’s upcoming election.  Predictably, they’re all Democrats.

You can find the list here.

If you’d like to see which special interest groups are supporting the candidates in your district, use the Washington Public Disclosure Commission’s portal to take a look.

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