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May 2, 2022 / Memos

MEMO: NARAL launches new ad, on-the-ground mobilization in TX-28 to elect Jessica Cisneros and unseat Rep. Cuellar in Texas primary runoff election


Date: May 2, 2022
To: Interested Parties

With 22 days until the Democratic primary runoff election in Texas’ 28th Congressional District, NARAL Pro-Choice America and our members are doubling down on our effort to send Jessica Cisneros to Congress and unseat Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)—the last anti-choice Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

In the final stretch of this critical runoff race, NARAL will be:

  • Running a new digital ad, alongside WOMEN VOTE!, that directs voters to texas28facts.com to get out the vote for Jessica Cisneros
  • Deploying 4 members of our organizing staff to TX-28 to power on-the-ground efforts to elect Cisneros. 
  • Committing to making an additional 15,000 dials and knocking on 2,000 doors to mobilize voters in TX-28 ahead of the runoff election. 

Already, NARAL has deployed five members of our organizing staff to TX-28 in the lead-up to the March 1 primary, made over 54,000 direct voter contact calls, knocked on 3,000 doors, sent 34,000 texts, recruited 300 volunteers, and held 10 events to mobilize voters. NARAL also released digital ads in English and Spanish in support of Cisneros as part of a six-figure program, and partnered with Justice Democrats to launch a six-piece direct mail program targeting likely Democratic voters and other key groups in the district.

Jessica Cisneros is a champion for reproductive freedom and an immigration and human rights attorney from Laredo, Texas. NARAL endorsed Cisneros in September 2021–just days after Texas’ vigilante-enforced ban on abortion (SB 8) went into effect. Cisneros previously earned NARAL’s endorsement in her 2020 primary bid where she lost to Rep. Cuellar by a very narrow margin after receiving 48% of the vote.

Now, the stakes for reproductive freedom in Texas and across the country are higher than ever. Texans have had their constitutional right to abortion ripped away for over eight months, forcing those who can afford it to travel hundreds of miles and cross state lines to access care in other states—subject to a litany of bans and restrictions in many surrounding states as well.

In the wake of SB 8, anti-choice Rep. Cuellar was the only Democrat to vote against the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill to safeguard the legal right to abortion and block bans like SB 8—turning his back on his constituents’ freedom to make their own decisions about their families and futures. 

Rep. Cuellar has a long history of using his power in Congress to undermine South Texans’ reproductive freedom. He has consistently supported attacks on Texans’ basic rights and efforts to push access to abortion care out of reach: 

  • Rep. Cuellar voted in support of Trump-era attacks on the Title X family planning program 
  • Rep. Cuellar was the only Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee in 2021 to support the discriminatory, anti-choice Hyde Amendment, which bans coverage of abortion care for those who receive their health insurance through Medicaid.

In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case concerning Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and threatens to end the constitutional right to abortion. The evisceration of abortion access in Texas as a result of SB 8 is a grim preview of what could happen across the country if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade—and South Texans are watching. 

If you are interested in hearing more about NARAL’s work to elect Cisneros at this critical moment, please reach out to media@prochoiceamerica.org.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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