Former North Carolina State Senator and Candidate for U.S. Senate Earns Endorsement from Nation’s Leading Pro-Choice Advocacy Group
For Immediate Release: March 5, 2020
NARAL Pro-Choice America today announced its endorsement of former State Senator Cal Cunningham in his campaign to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate. Cunningham, a member of the Army Reserves and former state senator for North Carolina’s 23rd District, is seeking to unseat anti-choice Republican Senator Thom Tillis.
“With so much at stake for reproductive freedom in 2020, NARAL is proud to endorse Cal Cunningham in his campaign to unseat anti-choice extremist Sen. Thom Tillis,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Senator Tillis is one of Donald Trump’s biggest cheerleaders in the Senate, and North Carolinians simply can’t afford to spend another six years paying the price for his and Trump’s extreme agenda, which includes placing politicians in the middle of people’s personal decisions about pregnancy. Senator Tillis has used his platform to roll back people’s fundamental freedoms to score political points and it’s time for him to go. Cal Cunningham is a true champion for women and families, is the leader that North Carolinians deserve, and we look forward to sending him to the U.S. the Senate.”
“Since Sen. Tillis was the Speaker of the North Carolina House, he has supported every anti-abortion and anti-choice bill that has come his way,” said Tara Romano, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. “From instituting medically unnecessary and unsound TRAP laws in North Carolina, to voting to repeal the ACA numerous times, to confirming hyper-partisan, unqualified, anti-abortion judges to federal courts, including Justice Kavanaugh, Sen. Tillis has refused to represent the majority of his constituents who support access to safe and legal abortion. The people of North Carolina deserve better than a Senator who has shown time and again that he will not support reproductive freedom for all of us.”
“There is no place for a politician in a conversation between a woman and her doctor,” said Cal Cunningham. “In the Senate, I will always defend Roe v. Wade, unlike Senator Tillis who just a few months ago asked the Supreme Court to revisit and potentially overturn it. That’s wrong for North Carolina, just like the partisan attacks on health care access that hurt women and their families.”
More than 90% of North Carolina counties have no clinics providing abortion care and more than half of North Carolina women live in a county without an abortion clinic. North Carolina has some of the most severe restrictions on abortion in the United States, interrogating women about why they’re ending a pregnancy, forcing multi-day delays before a woman can receive abortion care, and subjecting women to mandatory biased counseling.
Cunningham has pledged to fight back against Republican-led efforts to attack reproductive freedom, and has expressed his commitment to safeguarding Roe v. Wade and maintaining funding for Planned Parenthood.
Senator Tillis earned a 0% score from NARAL in the 2019 Congressional Record on Choice. As senator, he has voted to ban abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and to rescind Title X protections which provide millions of low-income individuals with access to affordable family planning services.
Tillis has voted to confirm dozens of anti-choice judges, including confirming anti-choice extremist Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court — which cemented a majority on the highest court in the land that is hostile to Roe v. Wade and emboldened anti-choice lawmakers to double down on their agenda of overturning Roe. Tillis also joined more than 200 other politicians calling on the court to end Roe v. Wade and with it, the legal right to access abortion.
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 2.5 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.”