Five Days Out from Election Day, Advocates Seek to Flip the General Assembly by Drawing on Widespread Support for Abortion Access Across Virginia

October 31, 2019
Contact: Marisa Rodriguez, [email protected], 956-607-9952

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, in partnership with the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund, Executes a Multi-layered Electoral Campaign to Elect Pro-Choice General Assembly Candidates in Key Targeted Districts

Alexandria, VA, October 31, 2019 In key districts throughout the Commonwealth, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, in partnership with the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund (NIRH Action Fund) is running a multi-layered campaign to educate and turn out pro-choice voters ahead of the November 5th, 2019 Virginia General Assembly elections, where the stakes for reproductive freedom could not be higher.

This political program has focused on calling out the true agenda of anti-choice politicians and candidates — to ban abortion, criminalize doctors, and punish women — while drawing a contrast with the slate of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s endorsed candidates, who believe that women should be able to control their bodies, lives, and futures.

The electoral program includes direct mail, a mobile text program, and an extensive ground operation including canvassing and phone banking, with more than 27,000 doors knocked and 7,000 phone calls completed, with more to come in the coming days. Additionally, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia is engaging in digital advertising — all combined reaching more than 200,000 Virginia voters.

“Anti-abortion politicians simply don’t trust a woman to make her own reproductive healthcare decisions, and our endorsed candidates recognize the historic moment Virginians are living in, and how this election outcome will determine the fate of reproductive freedom in Virginia for years to come,” stated Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Here in Virginia, polling shows that 72% of voters trust a woman to make her own reproductive healthcare decisions, and expect their legislators to secure a future that safeguards access to abortion care and upholds basic rights and justice. With Roe v. Wade hanging by a thread at the Supreme Court and access to safe, legal abortion under attack by anti-abortion Republican-controlled state legislatures across this country, the stakes could not be higher this election year for reproductive rights and freedom.

Since September, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, in partnership with the NIRH Action Fund, has worked to elect the following candidates:

  • Delegate Hala Ayala (HD51), who has used her elected position to protect women’s health and ensure that abortion care remains safe, legal, and accessible;
  • Delegate Kathy Tran (HD42), who has stood up for the proactive policies that Virginians need in order to make abortion more accessible and improve women’s lives across the Commonwealth;
  • Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (HD31), who is a proven champion for reproductive freedom and stood strong for reproductive rights during her freshman term in the House of Delegates even in the face of adversity, often speaking out during the disinformation campaign launched by anti-abortion politicians earlier this year;
  • Senate candidate Amanda Pohl (SD11), challenging sitting Senator Amanda Chase, whose record includes making it a felony for doctors to perform abortion and has stated that “it’s those who are naïve and unprepared that end up being raped,” in addition to denying rape survivors timely access to abortion care;
  • Senate candidate Missy Cotter Smasal (SD8), challenging anti-choice sitting Senator Bill DeSteph, who does not trust a woman to make her own reproductive healthcare decisions;
  • Senate candidate Qasim Rashid (SD28); challenging anti-choice sitting Senator Richard Stuart, who consistently votes against women’s health and rights;
  • House candidate Sheila Bynum-Coleman (HD66), challenging anti-choice Kirk Cox, the entrenched Speaker of the House, who has been made to defend his long record of leading anti-abortion measures;
  • House candidate Karen Mallard (HD84), challenging Delegate Glen Davis, one of the elected officials currently leading efforts to ban abortion, criminalize doctors, and threaten women’s health in Virginia.

“Virginians have a monumental opportunity to flip the General Assembly, so that it reflects the widespread support for abortion access that is prevalent across Virginia,” said Andrea Miller, President of the NIRH Action Fund. “All across the country, all eyes are on Virginia, and as opponents of abortion are zeroing in on the issue, we are proud to work toward ensuring that abortion care remains safe, legal and accessible, so that every woman can control her body, life, and future – in Virginia and beyond.”


NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and its PAC support candidates who are dedicated to family planning, preventing unplanned pregnancy, and increasing access to reproductive healthcare for women and families. The organization’s powerful statewide network of 22,000 activists will mobilize pro-choice voters throughout Virginia to help elect candidates in November.

The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund conducts nonpartisan advocacy and electoral engagement to advance reproductive freedom in states and cities across the country.