For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Contact: [email protected]
Washington, DC — NARAL-endorsed candidate Jay Chen has lost his bid to represent California’s 45th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement in response:
“Jay Chen put reproductive freedom and access to abortion care front and center throughout his campaign, and we applaud him for it. Now, the stakes are raised as Rep. Michelle Steel supports an anti-choice agenda that poses a threat to our freedoms and families. She even voted against safeguarding the right to birth control and protecting the right to travel for abortion care. While we are disappointed with the outcome of this race, we won’t give up. NARAL Pro-Choice California has 371,000 members, and you can count on us fighting alongside them to hold Rep. Steel accountable no matter what comes next.”
NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Olivieri Hovis said:
“We applaud Jay Chen for championing reproductive freedom and standing strong against anti-choice Rep. Michelle Steel. While we are disappointed with the outcome of this election, NARAL Pro-Choice California and our 371,000 members across California are committed to continuing the fight against Rep. Steel’s relentless attempts to dismantle our reproductive freedom.”
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—ending the constitutional right to abortion and opening the door for extremist state lawmakers to put total bans on abortion in place. This decision is already having a devastating impact throughout the country as 15 states are enforcing extreme or total bans on abortion. The people hurt most by these bans and restrictions are those who already face barriers to accessing abortion care—including women; Black, Latina/x, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous people; those working to make ends meet; the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; people with disabilities, and other historically oppressed communities.
NARAL endorsed Chen as part of its largest-ever midterm electoral program to elect candidates up and down the ballot during this critical moment in the fight for reproductive freedom. The program focuses on deep field investments in phone banking, door knocking, youth organizing, and canvassing, along with a robust communications campaign to support endorsed candidates and ballot initiatives in California, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Read more about NARAL’s endorsed candidates here.
NARAL’s work in California includes:
- Knocking on over 3,200 doors, making more than 32,000 calls, hosting 65 candidate canvass and organizing events, and sending nearly 247,000 texts in support of our reproductive freedom champions and the Proposition 1 ballot initiative;
- Endorsing 32 leaders for reproductive freedom running in open and challenger races and 54 champions for reelection;
- Serving on the Campaign Committee for Yes on Prop 1 and working alongside partners to ensure Californians vote to enshrine the right to abortion and birth control into the state constitution; and
- Deploying NARAL Pro-Choice America president Mini Timmaraju to fight side-by-side with champions and get out the vote in key races.
Key components of our midterm campaign include:
- Harnessing the full power of our 4 million members to mobilize their communities through traditional organizing tactics. In total, we knocked on over 330,000 doors, made nearly 707,000 calls, sent over 868,000 texts, and filled over 4,860 volunteer shifts.
- Continuing to broaden the impact of our cutting-edge research into voter sentiment on abortion, including our pioneering freedom-centered messaging, by training candidates, volunteers, and activists to speak to their communities in ways we know align with their values and move them to act on their beliefs.
- Rolling out a pilot program in Michigan with 14 organizers working on seven four-year college campuses and over 20 community college campuses to enroll voters and activate over 721 volunteers.
- Endorsing candidates in over 200 races nationwide for federal and state offices.
- NARAL, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and EMILY’s List announced a partnership in May to collectively spend a historic $150 million on the 2022 midterms to elect reproductive freedom champions up and down the ballot across the country.
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 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.