With Planned Parenthood's Richards in town, eyes on Cicilline race

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, in town for Netroots Nation, will headline a fundraiser tomorrow night for Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island (PPVRI), the organization's local voter education initiative.

PPVRI, a 501(c)(4) organization, cannot expressly advocate for one candidate over another. But there's little secret about where Planned Parenthood, writ large, stands on the upcoming Democratic primary pitting incumbent Congressman David Cicilline against businessman Anthony Gemma.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the national organization's political action committee, has endorsed Cicilline. And the press release for the PPVRI fundraiser tomorrow night says it will "provide an opportunity for young professionals and activists to engage in the campaign prior to the state's September 11th primary."

I just spoke with Paula Hodges, the energetic director of public policy and advocacy for PPVRI. She's a recent transplant from Missouri, where she says choice and related issues are a contact sport. Here, not so much. But she plans to raise the profile of Planned Parenthood's political apparatus in the state. And she pledges that a Planned Parenthood Votes Rhode Island PAC, which is allowed to get involved in state-level campaigns, will be active this year.


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