Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) announced Wednesday he will appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith – a former Planned Parenthood vice president – to replace Sen. Al Franken who has resigned over sexual misconduct allegations.
— Governor Mark Dayton (@GovMarkDayton) December 13, 2017
After founding a marketing and public relations firm in the state, Smith worked for political campaigns in Minnesota, including that of Walter Mondale for the U.S. Senate in 2002. In 2003, she was invited to become vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, a post she held until 2006. While at Planned Parenthood, Dayton’s office states she “expanded education and outreach efforts to increase women’s access to healthcare.”
“Tina Smith is a person of the highest integrity and ability,” said Dayton in a statement on his website. “There is no one I trust more to assume the responsibilities of this important office. I know that she will be a superb Senator, representing the best interests of our state and our citizens.”
However, Minnesota resident Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, says her organization views Smith’s appointment as a sign of Democrats’ continued full embrace of abortion in their political platform.
“As a successor to Al Franken, who preyed on women, it only makes sense that his replacement would be someone who used to make money preying on vulnerable women for Planned Parenthood,” she said in a statement. “Students for Life of America strongly opposes the selection of Tina Smith. Planned Parenthood continues to oppose even common-sense legislation, such as requiring health standards for abortion facilities, protecting minors, and prohibiting abortions based on race and gender.”
Last week, it was reported the Department of Justice has launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and its alleged involvement in the sale of body parts of aborted babies for profit.
According to Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report released in May, despite the low abortion rate in the U.S., the number of abortions at the organization’s clinics has actually increased.