For Immediate Release: July 21, 2020
ARIZONA — NARAL Pro-Choice America today unveiled major plans for flipping Arizona’s state legislature and repealing harmful restrictions on abortion access. The Roadmap to Reproductive Freedom in Arizona outlines three critical policy priorities for safeguarding and expanding access to abortion in the state. Key to achieving these priorities is securing a majority in the Arizona legislature that supports reproductive freedom. That’s why NARAL is endorsing 29 candidates for state legislature — 18 in the House and 11 in the Senate — all of whom are proven champions for reproductive freedom.
In addition to being home to one of the most competitive U.S. Senate races in the country — as NARAL-endorsed candidate Mark Kelly seeks to unseat anti-choice, anti-freedom Martha McSally — Arizona is an emerging battleground state on the verge of flipping both legislative chambers in 2020. Securing a majority for reproductive freedom in the state only requires overcoming a three-seat deficit in the Senate and a two-seat deficit in the House. NARAL has identified the 20th and 28th Legislative Districts as top flip priorities and will be doubling down on organizing efforts to mobilize voters in these key districts.
Cementing a legislative majority in support of reproductive freedom is critical to fighting back against the relentless onslaught of abortion bans at the state level. Since 2011, anti-choice politicians have pushed nearly 450 laws restricting reproductive freedom through state legislatures.
“For years, the Arizona legislature has been controlled by politicians out of touch with the majority of Arizonans who support reproductive freedom and legal access to abortion. These politicians, in an effort to score points by appealing to anti-choice extremist groups like the Center for Arizona Policy, have passed multiple laws that insert politicians into deeply personal decisions about pregnancy,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America Southwest Regional Director Caroline Mello Roberson. “These laws are designed to push abortion care as far out of reach for as many people as possible, and cause tremendous harm to BIPOC, low-income, and rural communities in particular. The good news is that Arizona is changing, and the days of this state being hijacked by anti-choice ideologues are numbered. In 2020 we have a real chance to flip the legislature to a majority in support of reproductive freedom, and NARAL and our 46,000 members in Arizona are committed to doing whatever it takes to turn this vision into reality.”
Arizona has some of the most severe restrictions on reproductive freedom in the United States, which include interrogating people about why they’re ending a pregnancy, forcing delays before a person can receive abortion care, and subjecting patients to mandatory biased counseling.
These restrictions disproportionately harm BIPOC, low-income, and rural communities, and are part of a coordinated effort by the Radical Right to maintain white patriarchal control at all costs.
Before Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, Arizona had already passed a ban on abortion and as it stands now, that law runs counter to the Supreme Court ruling and can’t be enforced. But if Roe falls, Arizonans could see abortion in their state criminalized overnight.
The Roadmap to Reproductive Freedom identifies the top three policy priorities for ensuring that every Arizonan is able to make their own decisions about their family’s future, including having access to abortion care. These priorities include:
- Repealing Arizona’s pre-Roe abortion ban.
- Repealing medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion care — including biased counseling and forced ultrasound requirements and the mandatory 24-hour delay for people seeking abortion care.
- Repealing physician-only requirements that make it illegal for an individual who is not a physician to provide abortion care.
The 29 endorsements announced today are part of NARAL’s multi-faceted, largest-ever electoral program for the 2020 election. The historic program aims to reach 3.6 million voters in eight key states — including Arizona — in order to win races up and down the ballot. Key to NARAL’s strategy is reaching, persuading, and mobilizing key voter segments including soft-partisan persuadable women voters, and low-propensity, pro-choice voters who are motivated by Trump and Republicans’ commitment to ending Roe v. Wade, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women. These critical voting blocs value reproductive freedom and align with the 77% of Americans who support Roe v. Wade.
Endorsed Senate candidates:
- Rosanna Gabaldon (LD-02)
- Felicia French (LD-06)
- Joanna Mendoza (LD-11)
- Lynsey Robinson (LD-12)
- Bob Karp (LD-14)
- Ajulan Kurdoglu (LD-17)
- Doug Ervin (LD-20)
- Sarah Tyree (LD-22)
- Ryan Staryk (LD-24)
- State Sen. Juan Mendez (LD-26)
- Christine Marsh (LD-28)
Endorsed House candidates:
- Judy Stahl (LD-01)
- State Rep. Charlene Fernandez (LD-04)
- Andrea Dalessandro (LD-02)
- Sharon Girard (LD-08)
- State Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley (LD-09)
- State Rep. Randy Friese (LD-09)
- Stephanie Stahl Hamilton (LD-10)
- Paul Stapelton-Smith, (LD-10)
- Kim Beach-Mochetti, (LD-14)
- Ronnie Maestas-Condos (LD-14)
- Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko (LD-15)
- State Rep. Jennifer Jermaine (LD-18)
- Judy Schwiebert (LD-20)
- State Rep. Jennifer Longdon (LD-24)
- Melody Hernandez (LD-26)
- State Rep. Athena Salman (LD-26)
- State Rep. Diego Rodriguez (LD-27)
- State Rep. Aaron Lieberman (LD-28)
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.”