Democratic Presidential Candidates Visit Planned Parenthood Facilities

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 23, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democratic Presidential Candidates Visit Planned Parenthood Facilities

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 23, 2003

North Hampton, NH ( — As abortion advocates, the Democratic candidates for president are expected to court support from leading pro-abortion groups. Now they’re taking their pursuit of votes one step further by visiting Planned Parenthood facilities in New Hampshire, location of the second primary election battle.

Planned Parenthood of New England (PPNE) has invited each of the major Democratic presidential candidates to participate in "choice conversations" — essentially visits to Planned Parenthood facilities in the state. While they’re there, candidates will meet staff and tour the facility.

At least one office, in West Lebanon, performs abortions. All provide abortion referrals.

Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and John Edwards (D-NC) have visited PPNE facilities in Manchester and Keene.

Meanwhile, Howard Dean, one of the leading contenders, needs no introduction to Planned Parenthood.

While in medical school he chose to do an unrequired stint at Planned Parenthood in Vermont and eventually found himself with a board position at PPNE during the 1980s. Instead of visiting one of PPNE’s facilities, he stopped at the home of Wendy Frosh, a current member of the PPNE board of directors.

While the candidates look to curry favors with local activists, PPNE wants to market their public relations strategy through them.

Planned Parenthood officials hope the visits will educate the candidates so they can talk about the abortion business as a health care facility that does more than just perform abortions.

This will help (the candidates) recognize that the large majority of our services are preventative in nature, especially preventing unwanted pregnancy. That decreases the need for abortion," claims Jennifer Frizzell, the New Hampshire public affairs director for PPNNE.

Planned Parenthood activists did not offer an endorsement of any of the candidates who have met with their supporters.

Nancy Mosher, president and chief executive officer of PPNNE said the candidates forums give local abortion advocates an opportunity to share their concerns with the candidates. Mosher is distressed about a parental notification bill that passed earlier this year in New Hampshire.