For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Contact: [email protected]
Nation’s leading reproductive freedom advocacy group endorses three U.S. House candidates
Washington, DC—Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America announced its endorsement of three candidates—U.S. Army veteran Ashley Ehasz, Pennsylvania State Representative Summer Lee, and community organizer Sean Meloy—running to represent their respective districts in the U.S. House of Representatives.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement:
“With the Supreme Court’s anti-choice supermajority potentially poised to end Roe v. Wade in the coming months, we need representatives in Congress who are ready to take the bold action needed to safeguard abortion access. NARAL Pro-Choice America is proud to endorse these three future leaders for reproductive freedom, State Rep. Summer Lee, Ashley Ehasz, and Sean Meloy for election to the U.S. House of Representatives. With reproductive freedom and abortion access under unprecedented threat across the country, we enthusiastically support these dedicated candidates. We know that they will fight to protect the values of the 8 in 10 Americans who support reproductive freedom.”
Ashley Ehasz, a U.S. Army veteran running to represent Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, released the following statement:
“As a combat veteran, I took an oath to defend the constitution, and in Congress, I will defend our reproductive freedom from the attacks of anti-choice Republicans like my opponent Brian Fitzpatrick, who are hell-bent on keeping working people from making their own decisions when it comes to family planning. The support of NARAL is going to be critical in the fight for reproductive rights, and I am honored to have their endorsement.”
State Representative Summer Lee, running to represent Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, released the following statement:
“I am proud to have the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America at a time when our constitutional right to abortion care is threatened not only by the Supreme Court but also right-wing politicians across the country, including right here in Pennsylvania. It’s communities like mine—Black and brown and low-income folks—who will lose access to abortion care first if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade. We cannot let them be a barrier to our fundamental rights, from the maternal mortality crisis to criminal abortion bans, I’m running for Congress to fight for our reproductive freedoms and ensure that our community has access to the care we need.”
Sean Meloy, a community organizer and LGBTQ+ activist, running to represent Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, released the following statement:
“The news in the last 24 hours shows that there has never been a more urgent time in our country to elect pro-choice candidates. At a time when right-wing extremists are attacking reproductive rights and privacy, I am honored to earn the endorsement of NARAL, one of the leading national pro-choice organizations leading this fight. Over the last four years, I was proud to work at a pro-choice, LGBTQ organization that elected pro-choice champions across the country. As a gay man and pro-choice advocate who taught in rural schools and has Capitol Hill experience, I’m running for Congress because we need leaders who have been fighting right-wing extremism from day one and for policies that actually help our community here in PA-17.”
These NARAL-endorsed candidates bring a wealth of experience and strong commitments to protect and advance reproductive freedom in Congress. Ehasz, who served as a Captain in the U.S. Army’s Aviation branch and was the only woman to graduate from her helicopter pilot class, is committed to protecting reproductive freedom. State Representative Lee, the first Black woman to represent Western Pennsylvania in the state legislature, has consistently voted to expand abortion access for all–opposing a barrage of dangerous bills introduced by anti-choice extremists in the state House. If elected, Lee will be the first Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress. Meloy, a longtime organizer and a nationally-recognized advocate for LGBTQ+ equality, is a staunch advocate for reproductive freedom and recognizes the importance of the right to privacy for everyone. If elected, Meloy will be the first LGBTQ person to represent Pennsylvania in Congress.
These endorsements come as NARAL Pro-Choice America is ramping up our work to elect candidates up and down the ballot during a critical moment in the fight for reproductive freedom, following the recent leak of a Supreme Court opinion suggesting the Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case about Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe.
If the landmark abortion rights decision is undone, 28 states are expected to take action to prohibit abortion outright. If Roe is overturned and states move swiftly to ban abortion, it is predicted that there would be a 1,169% increase in women of reproductive age whose nearest abortion provider would be in Pennsylvania—from 170,000 to 2.1 million people. It has never been more important to elect candidates like Ehasz, State Rep. Lee, and Meloy who will fight to protect and advance reproductive freedom in Congress.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, 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 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.