A coalition of progressive groups, including several reproductive rights organizations, are out with a new six-figure ad campaign targeting senators ― particularly Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona ― with the message that if you’re pro-choice, you also need to be anti-filibuster.
Until recently, two of the major national abortion rights groups were not on board with the progressive push to eliminate the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass most legislation in the Senate. Planned Parenthood said it was “supportive” of the efforts to end the filibuster, but that the issue was not its “focus.” NARAL Pro-Choice America said it was “watching the conversation really closely.”
Their concern has always been that if the filibuster is gone, Republicans could push through anti-abortion bills if they regain the majority.
But on Sept. 24, after Texas enacted its six-week abortion ban, NARAL finally came out and endorsed abolishing the filibuster. It also joined Fix Our Senate, a coalition of 80 progressive groups focused on ending the filibuster to advance on issues such as voting rights, gun violence prevention and more.
Planned Parenthood is still not a member, although last week, it joined with other groups in placing a full-page ad in Politico calling on Congress to use “every means necessary” to protect voting rights and abortion access.
The new ad from Fix Our Senate ― which also includes UltraViolet, Physicians for Reproductive Health and other reproductive rights organizations ― will be running on TV and digitally in Washington, D.C., and Arizona, as well as nationally, with more targeted states to follow. A full-page ad will also appear in The New York Times on Wednesday.
Watch the TV ad below:
Even though the ad never mentions Sinema, it’s notable that the groups are starting out right in her backyard.
Sinema has a strong record on abortion rights, with a 100% rating from NARAL. But the senator has repeatedly said she will not back abolishing the filibuster, and many reproductive rights groups are now targeting her for not going far enough.
″[Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell] only needed 51 votes to pack the Supreme Court with three ultra-conservative justices ― it’s clear that we should only need 51 votes to protect our right to abortion access and make choices for our bodies,” Desireé Luckey, director of policy, and Monica Edwards, federal policy manager, at URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, a member of the coalition, said in a joint statement to HuffPost.
“Senate Democrats, who say they support reproductive rights but remain silent on or against the filibuster, are supporting reproductive rights in name only,” they added.