For Immediate Release: Friday, October 9, 2020
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NARAL Pro-Choice America Endorses Reproductive Freedom Champions Lindsey Simmons and Kathy Ellis to Represent Missouri in Congress
NARAL Pro-Choice America today announced its endorsement of congressional candidates Lindsey Simmons and Kathy Ellis in Missouri ahead of the November general election. Both candidates are seeking to flip seats currently held by anti-choice, anti-freedom Republican incumbents.
“The stakes for reproductive freedom could not be higher in 2020. Radical Right politicians are determined to ban abortion and push access to abortion as far out of reach as possible,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “NARAL is proud to endorse Lindsey Simmons and Kathy Ellis, both of whom will be fierce advocates for reproductive freedom in Congress after unseating anti-choice, anti-freedom candidates who for too long have advanced an extreme ideological agenda.”
“In the midst of a surging COVID-19 crisis and the Radical Right’s relentless attacks on access to abortion and affordable healthcare, it’s imperative that we elect Congressional leaders who will fight for our health, our freedoms, and our lives,” said Mallory Schwarz, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. “In Southeastern Missouri, Kathy Ellis can be trusted to fight for Missourians’ ability to control their bodies and futures. In rural Missouri, Lindsey Simmons is committed to ensuring all people are able to access abortions and the full spectrum of reproductive and sexual healthcare—regardless of income or zip code. We look forward to working with these champions to secure reproductive freedom for every body in Missouri.”
Background on the candidates:
- Lindsey Simmons (MO-04) is a seventh-generation Missourian and military spouse. Her campaign is fighting for all rural, military and working families. She is seeking to unseat anti-choice, anti-freedom Republican incumbent Vicky Harzler. Rep. Hartzler has earned a 0% score from NARAL in every edition of its Congressional Record on Choice where she appears.
- Kathy Ellis (MO-08) is a social worker, addiction counselor and community leader with 40 years of experience. She is seeking to unseat anti-choice, anti-freedom Republican incumbent Jason Smith. Rep. Smith has earned a 0% score from NARAL in every edition of its Congressional Record on Choice where she appears.
“Healthcare access in rural Missouri is limited—especially for women. Four out of five counties in MO-04 lack hospitals with licensed OB beds,” said Lindsey Simmons. “This is on par with the state, where 56% of counties lack a maternity care provider. And although our district is 24 counties large, we do not have a single abortion provider for those in need to receive this healthcare service safely.”
“From day one, I’ve been in this race for the working people of Missouri’s 8th District who deserve real, authentic leadership that will fight for them each and every day. As we move quickly towards Election Day, this motivation becomes even clearer: Missourians deserve affordable, accessible healthcare; a government that works for them, not corporations or lobbyists; and a fighting chance at a better future for their children and grandchildren. For me, none of this is possible without also protecting a person’s right to bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom,” said Kathy Ellis. “I remember what life was like before Roe v. Wade, and with the passing of Justice Ginsburg, my commitment to protecting a person’s right to choose has never been stronger. I’m a rural Missourian, a lifelong resident of the District, and a proud pro-choice candidate. Having the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America means a great deal to me, and reminds us all that the stakes are high this November.”
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.