For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 12, 2022
Contact: [email protected]
Washington, DC — As the Democratic primary runoff in Texas’ 28th Congressional District approaches on May 24, NARAL Pro-Choice America is reminding voters that Rep. Henry Cuellar, the last anti-choice Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, cannot be trusted to protect our fundamental right to make our own decisions about our lives, bodies, and futures in the face of unprecedented threats. Not only was Rep. Cuellar the only Democrat in the House to vote against the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA)—a critical piece of legislation that would safeguard the legal right to abortion—Cuellar has a clear record opposing reproductive freedom.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Senior National Political Director Ryan Stitzlein released the following statement:
“No matter what you hear, there’s no question about where Rep. Henry Cuellar stands when it comes to reproductive freedom. His record speaks for itself. From voting against the Women’s Health Protection Act at a time when abortion rights and access face unprecedented threats in Texas and across the country to supporting anti-choice legislation, Rep. Cuellar has shown time and again that he will not fight for our fundamental rights. That’s exactly why NARAL Pro-Choice America is working harder than ever to elect Jessica Cisneros, a true champion for reproductive freedom. This moment requires taking bold action to safeguard our freedom to decide, and we know we can count on Cisneros to do exactly that.”
During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Cuellar consistently voted to undermine reproductive freedom and access to abortion care. He has voted in support of the Trump-era domestic gag rule that attacked the Title X family planning program—threatening access to affordable birth control and other critical healthcare, such as cancer screenings and STI testing for millions of people. He was also the only Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee to support the discriminatory, anti-choice Hyde Amendment, which bans coverage of abortion care for those who receive their health insurance through government-administered healthcare programs.
Jessica Cisneros is a champion for reproductive freedom and an immigration and human rights attorney from Laredo, Texas. NARAL endorsed Cisneros in September 2021—just days after Texas’ vigilante-enforced ban on abortion (SB 8) went into effect. Cisneros previously earned NARAL’s endorsement in her 2020 primary bid where she lost to Rep. Cuellar by a very narrow margin after receiving 48% of the vote. Recognizing the high stakes, NARAL Pro-Choice America again mobilized alongside our members this election cycle to help power Cisneros’ race against Rep. Cuellar.
Already, NARAL has deployed five members of our organizing staff to TX-28 in the lead-up to the March 1 primary, made over 54,000 direct voter contact calls, knocked on 3,000 doors, sent 34,000 texts, recruited 300 volunteers, and held 10 events to mobilize voters. NARAL also released digital ads in English and Spanish in support of Cisneros as part of a six-figure program, and partnered with Justice Democrats to launch a six-piece direct mail program targeting likely Democratic voters and other key groups in the district.
In the final stretch of this critical runoff race, NARAL will be:
- Running a new digital ad, alongside WOMEN VOTE!, that directs voters to texas28facts.com to get out the vote for Jessica Cisneros.
- Deploying 4 members of our organizing staff to TX-28 to power on-the-ground efforts to elect Cisneros.
- Committing to making an additional 15,000 dials and knocking on 2,000 doors to mobilize voters in TX-28 ahead of the runoff election.
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.