July 21, 2014 — The political arm of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America plans to spend $3 million on an aggressive campaign in Texas during the upcoming 2014 midterm elections, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
Planned Parenthood Votes President Cecile Richards said the campaign aims to point out differences between state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) and current Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), who are running for governor. "When women have a chance to know the difference between candidates, they won't vote for someone who is against them," she said.
The effort, supported by the newly created Planned Parenthood Texas Votes political action committee, is similar to those PPV has staged in other states. For example, the group last year spent $2.4 million in the Virginia gubernatorial race.
The Texas campaign was bolstered by a $1 million donation from Planned Parenthood Chair Cecilia Boone, the Express-News reports. It currently has more than $1 million in cash-on-hand.
'Wake-Up Call' for State Groups That Oppose Abortion
The campaign has spurred concern among antiabortion-rights activists, who are worried about raising funds to be competitive. Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman said, "This is a wake-up call for us, and I'm sure for other pro-life organizations." However, he dismissed the Planned Parenthood effort, saying, "Planned Parenthood doesn't have the grass roots to energize [voters] in the same way the pro-life movement can."
According to state data, TAL and Texas Right to Life, the state's two largest antiabortion-rights groups, have spent about $450,000 since January to support various candidates (Fikac/Saleh Rauf, San Antonio Express-News, 7/19).