Planned Parenthood Helped Edit News Release from Colorado Secretary of State’s Office

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The Colorado Secretary of State's office reached out to Planned Parenthood before publishing a news release calling for a boycott of Alabama over its recently passed abortion ban.

Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced Thursday that employee travel to Alabama would be restricted, 9 News reports.

Griswold's communications director Serena Woods emailed a draft of the release to Whitney Phillips, vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and Jack Teter, Planned Parenthood's political director.

"Whitney & Jack, Draft of what we are thinking attached. LMK thoughts/edits. If you could turn around as quickly as possible that would be great because SOS wants to move fast. Thanks, Serena," Woods wrote in her email.

Phillips responded within about 20 minutes.

"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," Phillips wrote back.

The sub-headline of the release originally referenced a women's "right to choose:" "In Response to New Law in Alabama Limiting Women’s Civil Rights and Right to Choose, Secretary Griswold Calls for Boycott of Alabama and Takes Action at Department of State."

Phillips suggested changing this because the language was "polarizing."

"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.

The revised news release removed the phrase "right to choose," replacing it with "rights to reproductive health care."

Phillips also suggested removing another line which was ultimately taken out of the release. Asked for comment, Griswold acknowledged reaching out to Planned Parenthood.

"As a woman in statewide elected office, it’s important to me to pay attention to issues affecting women. My office periodically travels to Alabama, and I decided to no longer use state resources to do so while this unconstitutional law is in place. I consulted with Planned Parenthood about this decision, as they are one of the largest providers of, and leading experts on, women’s health care," Griswold said in a statement.

Jeffrey Cimmino

Jeffrey Cimmino   Email Jeffrey | Full Bio | RSS
Jeff Cimmino is a media analyst at the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from Georgetown University in 2019. Prior to working at the Free Beacon, he interned at National Review and the Foreign Policy Initiative.

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