Just how much does the nation’s largest abortion provider expect from the politicians it supports? A lot, apparently.
Planned Parenthood invests tens of millions of dollars into electing Democrats every year, and it works with them closely after they are elected – even going so far as to craft their press releases and talking points.
This week, news broke that Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold relied heavily on the abortion group while crafting her response the new pro-life law in Alabama.
NBC 9 News reports Griswold announced a state travel ban to Alabama last week after the state passed a law protecting unborn babies from abortions. But before she did, her office contacted Planned Parenthood to ask for suggestions and edits to its news release.
The email exchange occurred between Griswold’s communications director, Serena Woods, and Whitney Phillips, the vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, according to the report.
“Draft of what we are thinking attached. LMK [let me know] thoughts/edits. If you could turn around as quickly as possible that would be great because SOS wants to move fast,” Woods wrote in an email to Phillips.
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Phillips responded with several edits, including a suggestion that they remove the phrase “right to choose” because the language is “polarizing,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
“Thanks Serena,” Phillips wrote. “I believe our CEO is going to call the Secretary and share some additional feedback. In the meantime, my feedback on the media release is attached.”
Griswold used the changes that Planned Parenthood recommended, the report states.
Former Colorado Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert said the interaction is not appropriate for a non-partisan government body.
“Fundamentally, people expect that office in particular to be non-partisan, and she ran on a platform that she was going to be non-partisan,” Staiert told the local news. “And the reason it’s so important is because they regulate elections. They regulate campaign finance. They regulate lobbyists, and now they’re working directly and taking orders, basically, from a lobbyist group.”
Staiert discovered the exchange after she said she heard rumblings about “unethical” things from people still working in the office.
“Whether you agree with Planned Parenthood’s platform or not, I think we can all agree that we should not have our policies in the state dictated to us by special interest groups and lobbying organizations,” Staiert said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate. I don’t think it’s ethical.”
Griswold defended her office’s reliance on Planned Parenthood in a statement to the local news.
“I consulted with Planned Parenthood about this decision, as they are one of the largest providers of, and leading experts on, women’s health care,” she said.
Planned Parenthood does not provide much women’s health care. It does few cancer screenings and no mammograms. It does not provide prenatal care or many other basic medical services. It primarily does abortions, including 332,757 last year, according to its annual report.
In 2015, similar ethics questions surfaced about Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf after he relied on Planned Parenthood for talking points about undercover videos showing potentially illegal baby body parts sales at the abortion chain.