For Immediate Release: May 7, 2020
NARAL Pro-Choice America today announced its endorsement of MJ Hegar in her campaign to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. Hegar is a former pilot in the Air National Guard who served three tours in Afghanistan and successfully led efforts to reverse the Combat Exclusion Policy, which barred women from joining ground combat positions. She is now seeking to unseat anti-choice Republican Senator John Cornyn.
“With so much at stake for reproductive freedom in 2020, NARAL is proud to endorse MJ Hegar in her campaign to unseat anti-choice extremist Sen. John Cornyn,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “For far too long the fate and wellbeing of women and families in my home state of Texas has rested in Senator Cornyn’s incapable hands. Sen. Cornyn is Mitch McConnell’s right-hand man in the Senate, and Texans simply can’t afford to spend another six years paying the price for their extreme and out-of-touch agenda to criminalize abortion and punish women. MJ Hegar is the leader that Texans deserve — a proven champion for women and families who understands how vital reproductive freedom is to Texans — and we look forward to sending her to the U.S. Senate.”
“Time and time again, Senator Cornyn has sold out the health and safety of Texas women to curry favor with his special interest donors and political bosses,” said MJ Hegar. “I’m proud to fight alongside NARAL to protect reproductive rights and ensure no politician interferes with medical decisions that belong between Texas women and their doctors. It’s time we put an end to systematic attacks on women’s health and bring more ass-kicking women to the decision-making table in Texas.”
Texas has some of the most severe restrictions on abortion in the United States, including forcing delays before a woman can receive abortion care and subjecting women to mandatory biased counseling.
Despite the fact that more than 96% of Texas counties have no clinics providing abortion care, anti-choice politicians in Texas continue to attack reproductive freedom and access to abortion, even going so far as to introduce a bill last legislative session that would place women behind bars for seeking abortion care and even lead to them facing the death penalty. Last month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton moved to block access to abortion care in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing an extreme ideological agenda over medical expertise and science.
MJ Hegar has pledged to fight back against Republican-led efforts to attack reproductive freedom, and has expressed her commitment to safeguarding Roe v. Wade and maintaining funding for Planned Parenthood. She also supports increasing access to sex education, affordable over-the-counter contraception, and cost-effective childcare.
Hegar is seeking to unseat anti-choice Senator John Cornyn, who earned a 0% score from NARAL in the 2019 Congressional Record on Choice. As senator, Cornyn has voted to ban abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, and to rescind protections for abortion providers who participate in Title X, which provides millions of low-income individuals with access to affordable family planning services.
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.”