Today, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts announced that voters in the Commonwealth sent a strong message to Congress and to the state legislature by electing pro-choice candidates at all levels of government. Voters elected the only pro-choice candidate for US Senate, Elizabeth Warren, and elected a pro-choice majority to the Massachusetts state legislature. In the 2010 elections, over a dozen pro-choice seats were lost, leaving the Massachusetts House of Representatives with a bare, one-vote pro-choice majority. Yesterday, Massachusetts voters rebuilt a pro-choice majority in the state legislature by voting in an eight vote majority in the House of Representatives (88 of 160) and reelecting a pro-choice majority in the State Senate (29 of 40).
This year, in addition to its traditional voter outreach and member education around state legislative candidates, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts led a proactive effort to set the record straight about Scott Brown’s pro-choice claims. The organization educated its members and the media about his largely anti-choice voting record as a US Senator and successfully made women’s issues the key issue in the US Senate race. Women voted overwhelmingly for Elizabeth Warren at the polls.
“This election was important all the way down the ballot for women’s access to reproductive health care,” said Megan Amundson, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “Voters in Massachusetts understand that we need to elect leaders at all levels of government who will stand up and safeguard a woman’s right to make personal, private decisions about pregnancy and childbearing.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts endorsed 92 pro-choice candidates and legislators for the November 6th general election. The group worked tirelessly through the summer and fall for pro-choice candidates and focused its resources on 15 tight races between pro-choice and anti-choice candidates. The group provided staff resources to candidates, it mobilized volunteers to knock on over 1500 doors and call over 3750 voters, and it ran phone banks out of the NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Boston office reaching an additional 2000 voters. On election day, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts staff and volunteers spent over 150 hours on get out the vote efforts.
“NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts’ endorsement not only said that I stood with women’s rights, but that they were committed to seeing a pro-woman’s rights candidate elected to the State House,” said State Representative-Elect Paul Heroux (D-Attleboro) after winning a tight election against anti-choice incumbent George Ross (R-Attleboro). “NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts provided me with volunteers to make phone calls and standouts, and provided me with campaign advice and election day support. Without them, my campaign may not have had a shot. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts’ help was invaluable.”
Leading up to election day, a dozen of the group’s priority races were too close to call. Thanks to the efforts of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, six of those pro-choice candidates prevailed. Overall, 80 of the 92 endorsed pro-choice candidates won their state legislative races.
“NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts was the first organization to endorse our campaign, and one of the most important,” said State Representative-Elect Ken Gordon (D-Burlington) after winning a tight election for the open seat recently vacated by Charlie Murphy (D-Burlington). “NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts was an important partner in our campaign and they fought with us every step of the way. They did not only endorse us but helped us succeed.”
“Having a one-vote pro-choice majority in the House of Representatives in the last legislative session meant we faced threats to choice we’d never before seen in Massachusetts,” added Amundson. “Massachusetts hasn’t been immune to the anti-choice fervor that has swept the nation in the last couple years. We committed substantial resources to electing candidates who will fight to ensure that women’s access to reproductive health care is not chipped away.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is the driving force behind the election of many pro-choice state legislative candidates, electing the first pro-choice legislature in 2004 and maintaining that majority in every cycle since. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts educates and mobilizes its 20,000 members across the state to break down the political and systemic barriers to women access reproductive health care by electing pro-choice candidates and working to pass pro-choice policies. Each election cycle, the group also provides strategic assistance to candidates; trains candidates, campaign staff, and volunteers; and distributes the definitive Pro-Choice Voters’ Guide listing its endorsements in statewide and state legislative races along with information about candidates’ positions on choice in every state House and Senate contest.
The 2012 Pro-Choice Voters’ Guide can be found at www.ProChoiceMassVotes.org.
For more information about NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts visit our website at www.ProChoiceMass.org.