Oregon Incumbent Senator Earns Endorsement from Nation’s Leading Pro-Choice Advocacy Group
For Immediate Release: April 24, 2019
Last night, NARAL Pro-Choice America announced its endorsement of Senator Jeff Merkley in his campaign for re-election to represent Oregon in the U.S. Senate. NARAL Pro-Choice America Political Director Nicole Brener-Schmitz and NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon Political Director Christel Allen joined Senator Merkley at an event at Mother’s Velvet Lounge in Portland to announce the endorsement and applaud his lifelong advocacy for women and families.
“With reproductive freedom under threat across the country, Senator Jeff Merkley is the champion we need in the Senate,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America Political Director, Nicole Brener-Schmitz. “Senator Merkley has always stood up to fight for women and families against attacks from anti-choice extremists. He fiercely opposed Trump’s right-wing Supreme Court nominations and has pushed to expand access to reproductive healthcare for all Americans. Now more than ever, we need bold leadership that won’t back down from a fight, which is why we are proud to endorse a proven fighter like Senator Merkley for re-election.”
“Here in Oregon, we know just how hard Senator Jeff Merkley fights to protect reproductive freedom,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon Political Director, Christel Allen. “Whether in the State House or the U.S. Senate, Senator Merkley has never stopped fighting to make sure all Oregonians can make their own decisions about if, how, and when to start a family. We’re proud to support the re-election of a strong advocate for women and families across the state of Oregon and ready to get to work for 2020.”
“I am thrilled to have NARAL’s endorsement and to join forces to help elect strong pro-choice candidates in Oregon and throughout the nation,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “NARAL’s commitment to protecting women’s rights and access to reproductive health care has never been more important. We all need to be in this fight, which is why it’s so important that we all chip in in any way we can to stand with NARAL and stand up for women’s rights.”
Senator Merkley has a long record fighting for women and families throughout his time in office. As Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, he led the fight to pass the Access to Birth Control Act, which required health insurance plans to cover birth control and required hospitals to offer emergency contraceptives to women who seek emergency room treatment after a sexual assault. He continued this strong advocacy for reproductive freedom after being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008, co-sponsoring the Global HER Act to end the global gag rule and the EACH Woman Act to repeal the Hyde Amendment. He also co-sponsored the MARCH (Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health) for Military Women Act to expand access to reproductive health care for servicemembers and the Women’s Health Protection Act to stop laws that unfairly target abortion services providers. During the fights against both of Donald Trump’s anti-choice nominations to the Supreme Court, Senator Merkley helped lead opposition to each nomination, holding the floor for nearly 16 hours to protest Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination in 2017. As a result of his strong advocacy, Senator Merkley has earned a lifetime 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”