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June 6, 2018 / Press Releases

NARAL Pro-Choice America Congratulates Endorsed Candidates in California on Primary Victories

NARAL Members Were Early Supporters of Several Assembly and Statewide Candidates

For Immediate Release: June 6, 2018
Contact: [email protected]

In response to a series of important primary victories for women and families in California, NARAL Pro-Choice California released the following statement.

“We are incredibly proud of our candidates who won primary victories last night. They represent California’s progressive values and a commitment to women and families,” said Amy Everitt, State Director of NARAL Pro-Choice California. “Our candidates fight tirelessly for our shared values and they represent the best of California at this historic moment. These men and women are committed to leading on issues of women’s reproductive freedom and we look forward to supporting them through November.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America today congratulated Sen. Dianne Feinstein for advancing to the general election in California.

NARAL Pro-Choice California’s Privacy PAC is proud to celebrate the following endorsed candidates’ victories of Tom Umberg (D) for California State Senate (District 34), Tasha Boerner Horvath (D) for California Assembly (District 76), and Christy Smith (D) for California Assembly (District 38). These three seats represent the best opportunities for flipping anti-choice seats to pro-choice.

In addition, NARAL Pro-Choice California congratulates the following endorsed statewide candidates: Alex Padilla (D) for Secretary of State, Fiona Ma (D) for State Treasurer, Betty Yee (D) for State Controller, and Ricardo Lara (D) for Insurance Commissioner. Earlier this year, NARAL Pro-Choice California endorsed Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor and Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

January poll released by NARAL Pro-Choice California shows that reproductive rights will be key for the state’s voters in 2018. Eighty percent said women’s rights and reproductive rights are important to how they vote, including ninety percent of women.

Dianne Feinstein has been an advocate for reproductive freedom since she was elected in 1992. Feinstein, a Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee, has been at the forefront of issues surrounding women and choice, from denouncing the 20-week abortion ban to attempting to defend the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Feinstein’s work on women’s health has been invaluable to women and families across California.

Tom Umberg championed reproductive freedom during his tenure in the State Assembly—and his election pivoted around reproductive rights as he unseated an anti-choice incumbent. He actively opposed the parental notification initiatives, Prop 73, Prop 85 and Prop 4, when they were on the ballot. He has also supported confidential access to reproductive health services for teenagers and has fought to protect teen safety.

Tasha Boerner Horvath was first elected to the Encinitas City Council in 2016 after serving on the Planning Commission. She has championed reproductive rights throughout her life, even running reproductive health seminars in college.

Christy Smith has served on the Newhall School Board since 2009 where she has advocated for honest, accurate and comprehensive sex education. She has been outspoken about her own difficult pregnancy and the importance of making the right healthcare decisions for herself and her family.

As a state Senator, Alex Padilla authored the law that requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards Training to prepare guidelines establishing standard procedures of law enforcement agencies in the investigation and reporting of anti-reproductive rights crimes. In 2008, he raised funds and directed campaign operations in his district to oppose Proposition 4, the deceptive parental notification initiative. He has been a statewide reproductive freedom champion and looks forward to continuing the fight for women’s rights.

Fiona Ma is a Certified Public Tax Accountant and currently serves on the California State Board of Equalization, where she works to protect the rights for taxpayers while also ensuring that California collects its fair share of tax revenues. Ma was elected to the California State Assemblywoman from 2006-2012. She was the first Asian-American woman to become Speaker Pro Tempore of the State Assembly. As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, she was an early leader in the fight against multiple parental notification initiatives including being a spokesperson in the Asian-American community.

Betty Yee was elected State Controller in 2014 after serving on the State Board of Equalization from 2006-2014. In each of her positions, she has understood the interconnected importance of reproductive freedom and economic security. As Controller, she fought to expand funding for family planning in the state budget. She was also a vocal leader in the campaigns against parental involvement initiatives that often endanger the young women they purport to protect.

State Senator Ricardo Lara strongly supported funding for family planning services and all forms of reproductive healthcare. He voted in support of SB 1053 the Contraceptive Equality Act, which required health insurance plans to provide coverage for all FDA approved contraceptive drugs, devices, and products. He also voted for SB 999, which required all private healthcare service plans and Medi-Cal Managed Care plans to cover up to 12-months of FDA Approved, self-administered hormonal contraceptives.

Eleni Kounalakis is the former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary under President Barack Obama and is the former president of AKT Development, a housing development firm. She served as a commissioner on California’s First 5 Commission and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism. She was appointed by SF Mayor Ed Lee to the San Francisco Port Commission. She currently chairs the CA Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment.

Tony Thurmond is currently an Assemblyman representing Richmond, CA. He served on the West Contra Costa School Board and the Richmond City Council. As an Assemblymember, Thurmond has championed women’s reproductive freedom by supporting and co-authoring numerous pro-choice bills.


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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