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April 8, 2010

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC Sees Chance to Move Five Key House Seats to the Pro-Choice Column

Pro-choice organization identifies strong candidates in districts with incumbents who backed Stupak amendment in health reform

Washington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced that her organization's political action committee's latest round of endorsements focuses on five candidates in key House races where there's a strong potential for pro-choice gains.

The candidates are running in districts currently represented by lawmakers who voted for anti-choice Rep. Bart Stupak's egregious abortion-coverage ban in the health-reform bill, which would have effectively banned insurance coverage for abortion in the new health system if it had been incorporated into the final reform package.

In an open-seat contest, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC contributed $5,000 to Dan Seals in his general-election campaign to replace Rep. Mark Kirk in Illinois' 10th District. In four races against Stupak-supporting incumbents, the PAC contributed $2,500 each to the following candidates: Paula Brooks in Ohio's 12th District, Suzan DelBene in Washington's 8th District, Steve Pougnet in California's 45th District, and Cedric Richmond in Louisiana's 2nd District.

"Voters in these five moderate districts all have an opportunity to replace their current representatives with outstanding individuals who share their mainstream pro-choice values," Keenan said. "We know that pro-choice candidates are at an advantage when the public sees a clear difference between them and their anti-choice opponents. Pat Tiberi in Ohio, Dave Reichert in Washington, Mary Bono Mack in California, and Joseph Cao in Louisiana will be forced to answer for their votes in favor of the notorious Stupak amendment. These incumbents put divisive anti-choice political attacks ahead of women's freedom and privacy in health reform—and we look forward to holding them accountable this fall."

Overall, NARAL Pro-Choice America's political program has helped produce enormous gains for pro-choice forces in Congress, including the combined net gain of 44 pro-choice seats in the House and nine new pro-choice senators in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles. In its 2008 post-election analysis, National Journal ranked NARAL Pro-Choice America second among the nation's top 21 political organizations for its impressive win rate among endorsed congressional candidates in hotly contested races.


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