Planned Parenthood was asked to help revise the Colorado Secretary of State’s press release announcing restricted travel to Alabama, which had just passed a law that would ban nearly all abortions in the state.
9News in Denver reported that the office of Jena Griswold, a Democrat, asked Planned Parenthood for its help before releasing the information.
“About two hours before the news release was sent out, Griswold’s communications director, Serena Woods, emailed the draft news release to Whitney Phillips and Jack Teter. Phillips is the vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and Teter is Planned Parenthood’s political director,” 9News reported.
Woods sent an email on May 16 asking the Planned Parenthood executives for their “thoughts/edits.” Phillips responded about 20 minutes later:
Thanks Serena, I believe our CEO is going to call the Secretary and share some additional feedback. In the meantime, my feedback on the media release is attached. It feels to me the Election Center part is a little inside baseball for most folks and the travel authorization is a little more digestible for the mainstream/media.
Griswold announced on Thursday that she was restricting employee travel to the Yellowhammer State due to the state’s new abortion law.
“Until the laws of Alabama allow for safe and legal access to health care for women, we call on the Election Center to move the location of its trainings from Alabama. I will not authorize the spending of state resources on travel to Alabama for this training or any other purpose. This is one action that I can take in response to this egregious law against women,” Griswold said in her statement.
Griswold also tweeted her boycott of Alabama.
“I’m calling for a boycott of Alabama. Until Alabama allows for safe & legal access to health care for women, I will not authorize spending of state resources on travel to Alabama. I call on other state and local leaders in CO and across the country to join me in this boycott,” she tweeted.
Griswold’s press release included one line that had been suggested for change by Phillips.
“We don’t recommend using right to choose/pro-life/pro-choice language anymore, all polling indicates it is further polarizing and turns folks off,” Phillips wrote to Woods. As The National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis noted, the final press release did not include the phrase “right to choose.”
Another suggestions from Phillips, however, was not used.
Griswold and Phillips both told 9 News they saw nothing wrong with Planned Parenthood’s involvement in revising the press release. Griswold said she consulted with the organization because “they are one of the largest providers of, and leading experts on, women’s health care.” Phillips told the media outlet that the organization’s involvement was warranted because “PP provides messaging guidance around abortion. That is our job as reproductive-health experts.”