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April 20, 2017 / Press Releases

NARAL Statement On DNC Chair Perez and Senator Sanders Embracing An Anti-Choice Candidate In Nebraska Today

April 20, 2017

Today, in Omaha, Nebraska, DNC Chair Tom Perez and Senator Bernie Sanders will embrace Heath Mello, an anti-choice candidate for Mayor of Omaha.

In response, NARAL Pro-Choice President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement:

“The actions today by the DNC to embrace and support a candidate for office who will strip women –  one of the most critical constituencies for the party – of our basic rights and freedom is not only disappointing, it is politically stupid.  Today’s action make this so-called ‘fight back tour’ look more like a throw back tour for women and our rights.

“If Democrats think the path forward following the 2016 election is to support candidates who substitute their own judgement and ideology for that of their female constituents, they have learned all the wrong lessons and are bound to lose. It’s not possible to have an authentic conversation about economic security for women that does not include our ability to decide when and how we have children.

“The Democratic Party, and its leaders, would be ill-advised to ignore data that blocking access to legal abortion does not win you a single vote, and robs women of dignity and autonomy. Abortion access is not a ‘single issue’ or a ‘social issue.’ It is a proxy for women to have control over our lives, our family’s lives, our economic well-being, our dignity, and human rights.  

“If we have learned anything from the first 100 days of the Trump Administration it is that women are leading the resistance. Engaging and turning out women voters will be key in 2018. Look no further than the special election in Georgia this week. Democrats erased a 20 plus point Republican advantage in a deep red state with a reproductive freedom candidate who said his campaign was fueled by women. This makes the DNC’s actions even more puzzling and troubling.

“The path the DNC ‘fight back tour’ takes the party down will not help the party or our country if it turns its back on reproductive freedom. It will only set back women’s fundamental rights and freedoms.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works 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. 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.”


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

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