NARAL Pro-Choice California Endorses Future Leaders for Reproductive Freedom for the California State Senate and Assembly - Reproductive Freedom for All

Formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America

Press Release

NARAL Pro-Choice California Endorses Future Leaders for Reproductive Freedom for the California State Senate and Assembly

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Contact: [email protected]


California’s leading reproductive freedom advocacy organization endorses seven candidates


Sacramento Today, NARAL Pro-Choice California announced its endorsement of seven candidates running in the 2022 midterm elections for the California state Senate and Assembly. These candidates will be strong leaders in the fight for reproductive freedom. 

NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Olivieri Hovis released the following statement:

“NARAL Pro-Choice California is proud to endorse this slate of candidates and we’re excited to turn out our nearly 300,000 members to support them. These candidates are running in critical seats that will ensure California remains and grows as a Reproductive Freedom State. With abortion rights and access under unprecedented threat across the country, NARAL Pro-Choice California is ready to work to get these candidates elected. We know that they will fight for reproductive freedom for everybody in California—including those forced to travel from out of state to access abortion care.”

Endorsements for state Senate:

  • Paula Villescaz (SD 06)
  • Catherine Blakespear (SD 38)
  • Joseph Rocha (SD 40)

Endorsements for state Assembly:

  • Dawn Addis (AD 30)
  • Andrea Rosenthal (AD 39)
  • Christy Holstege (AD 47)
  • Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen (AD 70)

Paula Villescaz is a public servant and advocate who currently serves on the San Juan Unified School District Board of Education. A trained lawyer and journalist, Catherine Blakespear currently serves as the mayor of the City of Encinitas. After Joseph Rocha was discharged from the Navy under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he became an advocate for repeal, returned to school, and graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law, reenlisting after the repeal and rising to the rank of a Marine Corps Captain. 

Dawn Addis is a Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund board member, Morro Bay City councilmember, and cofounder of the Women’s March in San Luis Obispo. Andrea Rosenthal is a longtime educator and community organizer who in 2018 helped the 25th Congressional District elect its first pro-choice woman to Congress. Christy Holstege has a long history of fighting for reproductive freedom as a former employee and current board director for Planned Parenthood and a reproductive justice attorney. She currently serves as the outgoing mayor of Palm Springs. Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen is the mayor pro tem of Garden Grove and a laboratory cancer scientist. 

These endorsements come as NARAL Pro-Choice California is ramping up our work to elect candidates up and down the ballot during a critical moment in the fight for reproductive freedom. In the coming months, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case about Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade. California is home to more than a quarter of the nation’s healthcare facilities that provide abortion care. If Roe falls, 28 states are likely to take action to prohibit abortion outright, and there could be a 2,923% increase in women whose nearest abortion provider would be in California. The Golden State will have an outsized role in helping pregnant people from all across the country access the abortion care they need.

In response to nationwide attacks on reproductive freedom, NARAL Pro-Choice California and its allies formed the California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB Council) to create a blueprint for California’s next steps to safeguard and expand abortion access. In March, NARAL Pro-Choice California joined fellow FAB Council steering committee members to announce a legislative package of 13 bills introduced this year that will codify recommendations of the Council.


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.