FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 6, 2008
Merkley Win Marks Pro-Choice Pick-Up in CongressSuccess in Oregon represents strong voter support for the values of freedom and privacy
Washington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, praised Oregon voters for electing NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed candidate State Rep. Jeff Merkley, who defeated anti-choice Sen. Gordon Smith.
"Merkley's victory is a sign that voters are tired of the divisive attacks of the past and are ready for a change," Keenan said. "Voters want leaders like Jeff Merkley who will defend women's reproductive freedom while uniting behind commonsense, common-ground proposals, like better access to birth control, that would prevent unintended pregnancies and thus reduce the need for abortion. We look forward to working with Merkley to stand up for the pro-choice values that Oregon voters support."
NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC contributed $10,000 to Merkley's campaign. In addition, the organization selected Merkley as a "Pro-Choice Pick" in an email alert sent to more than 35,500 of its most active members nationwide. In the final two weeks of the election, NARAL Pro-Choice America made 1,662 phone calls getting out the vote for Merkley. NARAL Pro-Choice America also featured Merkley as a "Race of the Week" on BlogForChoice.com and its website. Throughout the 2008 election cycle, NARAL Pro-Choice America communicated with 13,500 member-activists in Oregon.
NARAL Pro-Choice America plays a unique role in persuading Independent and Republican pro-choice women voters to cross party lines to support pro-choice candidates. In 2008, NARAL Pro-Choice America repeatedly contacted approximately 290,000 households in eight battleground states—Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – exposing McCain's extreme anti-choice record and persuading these critical voters to support Sen. Obama. In addition, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed 91 candidates for the U.S. House and Senate and made $350,000 in direct contributions. The organization's volunteers made more than 12,500 GOTV calls into swing states urging voters to support Sen. Obama and targeted pro-choice congressional candidates and mobilized more than 500,000 online activists to engage in campaigns and vote for pro-choice candidates.
For more information about NARAL Pro-Choice America's electoral activities and information on other NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed candidates who also won their races, please visit www.ProChoiceAmerica.org/elections.