Chicago-based reproductive-rights organization Personal PAC marked a number of successes in the Nov. 6 midterms, particularly the defeat of one of its longtime foes who was also a key opponent of marriage-equality.
Personal PAC CEO/President Terry Cosgrove said that the organization put in about a year's work to help defeat state Rep. Peter Breen ( R-Lombard ), who was long associated with a conservative law firm, the Thomas More Society, which has issued legal challenges to both reproductive-rights- and LGBT-rights-related issues. Breen helped litigate against plaintiffs suing for the right to marry their same-sex partners. He lost to attorney and Democratic challenger Terra Costa Howard.
"I'm still in disbelief that we pulled it off," said Cosgrove. "We worked very hard in the district. There were a lot of people that stepped up to help out, and Personal PAC was definitely helping to lead the way, though there were a lot of organizations and people involved."
Personal PAC joined Equality Illinois and Men4Choice in launching a website and Facebook page titled "Come Clean Breen" that illustrated the representatives voting record on reproductive-rights, LGBT issues and gun control, he added. The organizations organized door-to-door canvassing and phone drives, as well as candidate forums.
"We started educating voters on those issues, and making sure people knew who their state reps were," Cosgrove noted. "We put together a leaflet that we left at people's doors, mostly on reproductive rights but other issues as well."
Cosgrove also said that no state officials seeking reelection in 2018 who voted in favor of HB40the House bill introduced by state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz that nullified a law automatically outlawing abortion should the United States Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision be overturnedlost their bids. Such was also the outcome when legislators voted on marriage-equality in 2013.
"I think it's important for legislators to understand that voting for reproductive-rights is actually a good thingit helps you get re-elected," he added. "It goes back to the old saying, Good policy is good politics.' That's exactly what supporting pro-choice initiatives is. It's good politics."