Planned Parenthood plans $20 million election fight

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Story highlights

  • "Extremists made the 2016 election about attacking reproductive rights," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said
  • The $20 million will be spent on a mix of volunteer and activist organizing in each state and advertising

Washington (CNN)Planned Parenthood is planning to spend at least $20 million fighting Republicans at the ballot box next year as the group punches back against GOP efforts to end its federal funding.

"Extremists made the 2016 election about attacking reproductive rights," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, who was grilled extensively on Capitol Hill in September, said in a video announcing the effort Tuesday.
    The group is planning to focus on the White House and Senate races in a few key states, including New Hampshire, Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The states not only have potentially competitive Senate races, but are also key swing states on the presidential map.
    The $20 million will be spent on a mix of volunteer and activist organizing in each state and advertising.
    "Enough is enough," Richards said in the video. "With our supporters, we're launching 'I Vote Planned Parenthood Action.' We'll organize and mobilize to elect lawmakers who are in our corner."
    The push comes as House lawmakers have put together a special committee solely focused on investigating claims made by the conservative Center for Medical Progress in a series of undercover videos that purportedly show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue, which is illegal.
    Richards announced last month that her group would no longer collect fetal tissue for research, in the hopes it night deflect some heat. But House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who in September oversaw a lengthy congressional hearing into Planned Parenthood, argued his focus had not been anti-abortion politics, but instead the group's funding.