For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Contact: [email protected]
Washington, DC — Today, NARAL-endorsed candidate Beto O’Rourke lost his bid for governor.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement in response:
“While we had hoped to see a different result in this race, we’re proud to have supported Beto O’Rourke as he fought for a Texas where everybody could make their own decisions about their families and futures. Texans are facing an abortion rights and access crisis that Gov. Abbott is directly responsible for, and we will never stop working alongside our partners and allies to win back our rights and restore our freedoms.”
Under Greg Abbott’s leadership, Texas has enacted some of the country’s most extreme bans and restrictions on abortion. In September 2021, Texas began enforcing a vigilante-enforced ban on abortion before many people even know they are pregnant (SB 8) which effectively cut off access to abortion care in the state. This August, following the fall of Roe v. Wade, the state’s “trigger ban”—which was signed into law by Governor Abbott—went into effect and further eviscerated abortion rights and access in the state.
The devastating impact of Texas’ extremist laws has been compounded by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision ending Roe. In June, the Court overturned Roe 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 having a devastating impact throughout the country as 15 states—including Texas—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 Beto O’Rourke 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 Pennsylvania, Georgia, California, Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada. Read more about NARAL’s endorsed candidates here.
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, so far we knocked on over 330,000 doors, made over 641,000 calls, sent over 682,000 texts, and filled over 4,600 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.