FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2020
Contact: Kelly Novak, [email protected]
With an electoral focus on state-level races, NIRH Action Fund aims to the lay the groundwork for policy change to protect and advance abortion care
New York – As polling sites close, the nation awaits the outcome of the presidential election, which will determine the continuation of our basic rights, democracy, economy, and planet. The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) Action Fund is also monitoring the outcomes of state elections, particularly state legislative races, across the country, including several where the NIRH Action Fund worked to elect candidates who will use the positions to support our ability to control our bodies, lives, and futures. State legislatures have the power to improve access or to create barriers to abortion care, and this election will define the future of state legislatures for at least the next decade, impacting every issue progressives care about, including abortion access.
“We’re all watching with bated breath to see if the will of the people will prevail tonight to make Joe Biden and Kamala Harris President and Vice President,” said Andrea Miller, President of the NIRH Action Fund. “And as much as we need dramatic change in the presidency and the Senate, we also need to shift state legislatures across the country. With threats from the Supreme Court and more hostile, anti-abortion state legislatures, the state-level long game is of critical importance.”
In 2020, NIRH Action Fund took a two-pronged approach to election work: selecting state legislative races in battleground states to shift their state legislatures to support reproductive freedom, and electing more champions in traditional strongholds for reproductive freedom so we can pass even more safeguards for abortion access.
“The purpose of NIRH Action Fund’s electoral program is to lay the groundwork for policy change in every state in which we work,” Miller said. “We aim to elect leaders who will create proactive, visionary policies that will help our communities thrive, and to reelect our proven champions.”
In the battleground states of Arizona and Pennsylvania, NIRH Action Fund conducted polling to prove that support for abortion access was a winning issue across the political spectrum. In Arizona, where anti-abortion politicians have held trifecta control of the state for years, 2020 presented an opportunity to gain pro-choice majorities in both legislative chambers. Pennsylvania — which severely restricts abortion access — has a chance to shift legislative control to pro-choice majorities, enabling the state to reverse course by expanding access to abortion care.
The NIRH Action Fund and the NIRH Action Fund PAC for PA was active in both states through message development, in-state partnerships, and direct investment in political programs — including the hotly contested races of Coral Evans (AZ LD6), AJ Kordoglu (AZ LD17), and Christine Marsh (AZ LD28), Marlene Katz (PA HD29), Lindsay Drew (PA HD106), Jonathan Kassa (PA HD151), Deb Ciamacca (PA HD168), and Ann Marie Mitchel (PA HD178).
New Mexico is a critical access point for reproductive health and abortion care in the southwest. NIRH Action Fund worked in both the primary and the general election to protect champions and expand majority support in the state senate to repeal the state’s outdated abortion ban.
And in New York, where NIRH-AF has done electoral work for more than 50 years, the NIRH Action Fund PAC endorsed a slate of candidates at every level to ensure that our state government and laws best reflect New Yorkers’ values — to respect and support each person’s ability to control their lives and futures.
“We are doing what no other organization is doing in the states: making sure that candidates and campaigns have the tools they need to run, win, and govern on a proactive reproductive rights, health, and justice platform,” Miller said. “As we watch election results roll in, we’re hopeful for wins at every level of government.”
The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund (NIRH Action Fund) are advocacy groups that fight to protect and advance access to reproductive health care and build political power for reproductive freedom. They work hand-in-hand with reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in states and cities across the country to build coalitions, launch campaigns, change policy, and elect candidates who stand up for everyone’s right to control their reproductive lives. Their strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. They work in the communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart.