Planned Parenthood helped knock a 28-year incumbent out of the North Carolina General Assembly after the conservative Democrat sided with Republicans to vote in favor of a controversial anti-abortion bill last year. State Rep. Jim Crawford (D) joined four other Democrats who helped Republicans override Gov. Bev Perdue’s (D) veto to pass legislation that requires women get ultrasound exams, receive counseling, and wait 24 hours before having an abortion.
Planned Parenthood responded by supporting Rep. W.A. “Winkie” Wilkins’ (D) campaign against Crawford in a redrawn district that favored Wilkins. The women’s health organization claimed victory in statements released after Tuesday’s election:
“There is no question,” says Melissa Reed, vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems Action Fund. “Women were watching as Jim Crawford cast the deciding vote in support of legislation to undermine a woman’s right to make personal health decisions without government intrusion.” [...]
“Nowhere has the attack on women’s health been waged more viciously than in North Carolina” added Paige Johnson, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina. “Yesterday’s defeat of Jim Crawford by Winkie Wilkins shows clearly that women have had enough. We are mobilizing to help elect candidates like Winkie Wilkins, who will stand strong for women’s health in 2012 and beyond.”
Planned Parenthood also got involved in a Pennsylvania election, spending $100,000 on an ad attacking Republican Ryan Mackenzie for his support of an invasive ultrasound bill. And as state legislatures have approved another round of restrictive abortion regulations so far this year, it’s likely that women will continue to target Republicans who voted to limit their health care options.