As Election Day closes in, candidates and their supporters alike are fitting in last-minute campaign efforts. Given the nature of many college students to lean left on the political spectrum, college campuses have become a center of focus for Democrats.
That’s why, when New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan visited the UNH campus with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m., video cameras and reporters lined the room in anticipation of an inspiring speech. While the presentation was relatively short, the pair managed to cover several hot-button topics and promote a change in establishment.
This appearance in Durham was the first of two events they attended together, the other being in Portsmouth later that day. With less than two weeks until Election Day, every undecided vote is an opportunity for either candidate to take command of the race. Hassan is looking out for her own interests, as well; since Senate elections don’t receive as much coverage, she reaches out often to make her message known.
Both Hassan and Richards touched on the importance of college voters and the impact they have on the election outcome. Because New Hampshire is somewhat of a swing state, campaign strategies make all the difference in the Granite State. More importantly, they both stressed the importance of electing Hassan to Senate this fall; current Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte opposes many aspects of the Democratic platform.
“The government should not make any complicated family decisions,” Hassan said. “[Ayotte] has voted for defunding Planned Parenthood six times since she was elected to the Senate—she’s trying to make those decisions for you.”
Planned Parenthood has become a topic of focus for the feminist movement, especially in this election cycle. Legalized by Roe v. Wade in 1972, abortion has been among a woman’s rights to seek out if needed. Planned Parenthood is one of the leading institutions that offers abortion services, and is now being threatened by a Republican-dominated Senate.
Hassan said that she has every intention of fighting for Planned Parenthood and its continued services to women across the country. The nonprofit offers more than abortion services, like preventative measures and pregnancy counseling.
“The battle did not end with Roe v. Wade. We continue to fight it today, and we do because it’s important to women everywhere that they have these rights,” Hassan said.
Both Hassan and Richards expressed their agenda to, as they put it, “turn New Hampshire blue.” The initiative starts by electing Democrats to office, not only in the White House but in the House of Representatives and Senate as well. A Republican-dominated Congress is the best chance they have of defunding Planned Parenthood, effectively diminishing women’s rights according to the governor.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Hassan encourages registered voters to show up and cast their ballot in her support; her agenda, she feels, would have a tangible positive impact on the lives of college students.