It’s urgent we elect pro-choice advocates to state legislatures across the country. That’s why we’re proud to launch our slate of Reproductive Freedom Fighters – 20 Democratic state legislative candidates committed to protecting choice and access to health care.
These candidates are health care providers, people of faith, community organizers, scientists, and mothers on the frontlines in their states pushing back against the GOP’s attacks on reproductive rights. Together, they’re sounding the alarm about the dangerous threat abortion bans pose to everyone who can get pregnant – and they’re the unsung heroes we need as we face an uncertain future.
Why State Legislators
In the face of a conservative Supreme Court and federal gridlock, the most effective way to protect reproductive rights this year is by electing Democrats to state legislatures.
When Democrats hold power, they immediately take steps to protect reproductive rights, improve health care access and affordability, and ensure that all people have the tools to care for themselves and their families. While many states with Republican-controlled legislatures have either already banned abortion or are gearing up to do so, each and every one of the 17 states with a Democratic majority in the legislatures has protected or expanded abortion rights, ensuring reproductive freedom is protected, even after the Supreme Court gutted Roe v. Wade.
The power to protect choice lies in the hands of state legislators and there has never been a more crucial time to support these reproductive rights champions.
Meet the candidates
Eva Burch, a nurse practitioner and lead organizer of the Phoenix Women’s March, is a trusted champion for reproductive justice in Arizona. A proud mother of two, Eva has spoken out about her own difficult decision to have an abortion due to pregnancy complications and she is committed to fighting to fully reinstate and protect that choice for the good people of Arizona, where the GOP is fighting to take those rights away. Learn more about Eva.
Lisa Cutter has spoken out at rallies for reproductive justice and taken a strong stance against restrictive laws like the Texas abortion ban. She also co-authored a bill that would enshrine abortion rights into Colorado law, noting that legality is the floor, not the ceiling. She is fighting to hold a critical Senate seat to maintain the Democrats’ legislative majority. Learn more about Lisa.
Deb Patterson is unwavering in her support for reproductive rights, fueled in part by memories of the horrors women faced prior to the protections afforded by the Roe decision. “In more than 30 years of ordained ministry, I have been asked countless times to provide counsel, prayerful support, and pastoral care to people making medical decisions. I remember how terrifying it was for women to seek abortions before Roe v. Wade. We cannot go back,” says Deb.
Denise Mentzner is the kind of leader Michigan desperately needs right now. While the state’s Republicans are defending an arcane 1931 law that criminalizes abortion and could jail doctors who provide reproductive care, Denise has joined with Governor Gretchen Whitmer to denounce the legislation and will fight to protect access to care for all Michiganders. Learn more about Denise.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe, Diamond shared her outrage about the impact the decision will have on the lives of North Carolinians, tweeting, “As your Rep, I’ll do everything I can to ensure that [North Carolina] women, not politicians, make decisions about their health and reproductive care.” Abortion is currently still available in North Carolina, but if Democrats don’t maintain enough seats in the General Assembly to protect the Governor’s veto, that could change. Learn more about Diamond.
Jasmine Clark is running for reelection against a Republican opponent who has signaled that he doesn’t even believe people should have access to abortion care to “prevent the death of the mother.” She writes, “Laws that specifically target women’s bodies, that seek to strip away bodily autonomy and allow government intrusion on private medical matters, are unconstitutional and unnecessary.” Learn more about Jasmine.
Elaine Marzola, a Brazilian immigrant and single mother, is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada and Nevada National Organization for Women because of her strong commitment to protecting access to abortion, contraception, and education. In the wake of the Roe decision she tweeted, “I am vehemently disappointed in the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court… and I will always fight for pro-choice legislation.” Learn more about Elaine.
Emily Randall has worked to strengthen abortion access in Washington and is proudly endorsed by Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. She is committed to passing the Keep Our Care Act to help ensure access to abortion is protected, and Washingtonians have a health care system that provides the care they need — when and where they need it.
Erin Maye Quade is a force to be reckoned with. In her work with Gender Justice and UnRestricting Minnesota, she led the largest reproductive justice coalition in the state helping lay the groundwork for a statewide movement to protect and expand reproductive rights. She drives home the importance of a slate like this by calling attention to the fact that because there is a radical Republican majority in the Minnesota Senate, “It is crucial that we elect reproductive rights champions in November.”
Kathleen Cates has vowed to fight to protect reproductive rights so that New Mexico doesn’t go the way of Texas and other states with dehumanizing bans. Kathleen is running for a seat in the New Mexico House, where Republicans flipped a district in the 2020 elections, and her race is key to defending the pro-choice majority in the state. Learn more about Kathleen.
Kelly Coffman, a reproductive and forensic psychiatrist, has vowed to always “support a patient’s right to make personal medical decisions with their doctor and without intervention from the government.” She shared with Georgia Democrats that her “patients are really terrified to get pregnant. They are afraid that if they get pregnant, they might have a miscarriage, and then they will be stuck in this awkward position of — am I going to be able to get adequate care for this?”
In the wake of the overturn of Roe, when many were asking what could be done, Representative Kelly Morrison used her expertise as a legislator and medical doctor to author the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act. The bill aims to protect Minnesotan patients and providers who are prosecuted under restrictive abortion policies in other states and establishes the fundamental right of all Minnesotans to make individual decisions about reproductive health care. The GOP majority in the Minnesota Senate is currently blocking the bill from advancing, but if elected, Kelly could help turn the tide.
Melanie Scheible was a proud primary sponsor of the Trust Nevada Women Act, which cleaned up antiquated laws governing a woman’s right to choose and updated informed consent laws to ensure patients’ conversations with their doctors remain medically accurate. She voted to invest $6 million in Family Planning Services in Nevada and has relentlessly pursued policies that increase access to multiple affordable birth control methods. Learn more about Melanie.
Meredith Dixon, endorsed by Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico, is outspoken about siding with a majority of New Mexicans in her support of repealing the state’s old abortion ban, which criminalized abortion. Although Republicans are fighting to keep the bans in place, Meredith has said she will continue to fight tirelessly to keep “this very personal decision between a woman and her healthcare provider.” Learn more about Meredith.
Rachel Talbot Ross has consistently voted to expand access to reproductive health care for the residents of Maine — including abortion services. In support of a 2019 bill to prevent discrimination in public and private insurance coverage for pregnant people, Rachel highlighted the intersection of racial justice and reproductive justice noting, “Unequal access to reproductive health care perpetuates and exacerbates racial disparities among Maine women.” Learn more about Rachel.
Speaking ahead of the MI Body MI Choice rally last year in protest of the Texas abortion ban, Sarah Anthony said, “Let’s never forget: these laws are about a small minority controlling the bodies of others. We cease to live in a free society if we don’t have the right to control our own bodies. We cannot stand by while this happens in Texas, and I’ll continue to fight to make sure it never happens in Michigan.” Learn more about Sarah.
Spencer Wetmore gained national attention for her speech against a Republican proposal to ban abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities. “We know a majority of South Carolinians don’t support this bill. It doesn’t adequately protect the health of women, it turns doctors and women into criminals. So why do we have it?” she demanded. Learn more about Spencer.
Stacy Brenner worked as a nurse providing abortion care services in the 1990s. Her care for patients, along with her own choice to end a pregnancy after her birth control failed, has fueled her passion as a leader in the fight to protect abortion access. Learn more about Stacy.
Sydney Batch has put her community above all else, especially when it comes to defending reproductive freedom. In 2019, while healing from breast cancer, Sydney skipped her time off for recovery to help block an anti-abortion bill saying, “I’m willing to suffer through the physical and temporary pain in order to make sure that women have that right in the future.” Learn more about Sydney.
There could not be a more crucial time to help elect reproductive freedom fighters to state legislatures across the country. Please donate today.