Newsday (USA), October 19, 2004
Endorses Kerry for President
The nation's largest family planning group has
broken with an eight-decade long tradition
of non-partisanship by endorsing a presidential
candidate in a 30-second TV ad geared to single
"Planned Parenthood has always tried to
remain non-partisan but [now] felt they were
in such a dangerous place as far as protecting
women's rights - not just the right to choose
- that they needed to step up," said the
1998 Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt, who
stars in the pro-John Kerry ad.
Hunt's commercial, which began airing Sunday
in battleground states and will not air locally,
highlights what the group says is the Bush
administration's opposition to medically accurate
sex education and funding for family planning
"People talk about 'NASCAR dads' and how
those guys are going to win the election for
Bush, but they're something like 6 percent
of the population, and unmarried women are
24 percent of the population," Hunt said
in a recent phone interview.
The ad is slated to appear in eight battleground
markets: suburban Philadelphia; Tampa; Las
Vegas-Reno; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Des Moines;
Milwaukee and Manchester, N.H. The Planned
Parenthood Action Fund, the organization's
political arm, spent close to $1 million for
the media buy. The spot will run only on cable
channels such as MTV, TBS and USA.
Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood,
said the group deemed it appropriate to break
with its long-standing tradition "because
the stakes are so high for women."
"People think about this as being about
abortion, but it's about access to contraception
... and the health care services clinics offer
to women," Feldt said.
Conservative groups were fast to condemn the
campaign as predictable and yet another example
of Hollywood liberalism.
"It's no surprise that the biggest feeder
at the federal trough, Planned Parenthood -
whose major objective is to push abortion -
is supporting the liberal presidential candidate
with a long pro-abortion voting record,"
said Connie Mackey, vice president of government
relations for the Family Research Council,
a Washington think tank.
"As for an actress doing the ad, no surprises
there, either. Hollywood is a liberal, pro-abortion
community not representing most women in the
<< Newsday -- 10/19/04 >>
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