Planned Parenthood on Thursday announced a seven-figure advertising campaign targeting three vulnerable Republican senators seeking re-election because of the Trump administration's changes to the birth-control program that receives federal funds.
The campaign zeros in on Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Martha McSally, R-Ariz., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., the Planned Parenthood Action Fund advocacy arm said in a statement. The ad buy includes radio, television, and digital spots, as well as mailers.
Democrats are targeting the Republicans, who are considered vulnerable because they are facing strong, self-funded opponents or due to demographic changes that led to Democratic victories in recent elections.
Planned Parenthood was among many groups that quit the Title X family planning program earlier this year, saying they could not follow the Trump administration's changes that would block providers from referring people for abortions.
The spots encourage voters to call the legislators to "demand they protect Title X in the devastating aftermath of the Trump administration's gag rule," the organization's statement said, which threatens "reproductive healthcare for millions of people."
In North Carolina, a 60-second radio ad says the Trump gag rule "disproportionately harms black women, who already face delayed diagnoses and increased mortality rates for cervical and breast cancer due to barriers — which often includes structural racism in the medical industry that can stand in the way of accessing quality, affordable healthcare."
The Colorado spot says that Gardner, whose state Hillary Clinton won by 5 points in 2016, does not "care about women's health."
Gardner has not made commented publicly about the administration's decision, The Hill reports, but he and the other two Republicans have joined other party members to block federal funds from Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood also is lobbying Congress to prevent the White House from enforcing the Title X changes in the pending budget bill for fiscal 2020.
"Congress has the power to take action, and the American people want them to stop putting politics over their health and protect access to affordable healthcare," said Sam Lau, director of federal advocacy media for Planned Parenthood Action Fund, told the Hill.
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