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Leading National Trend, Pro-Choice Women Drive Election Results Across New York State
Contact: Tara Sweeney, 917-488-0094, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Last night’s election confirms that women’s health and reproductive rights are issues that influence the electorate, turn out voters, and ultimately shape elections,” said Andrea Miller, President of NARAL Pro-Choice New York. "We join with pro-choice Americans across the country in celebrating the historic re-election of President Obama and congratulate the many members of our congressional delegation and the state legislature who stood tall for a woman’s right to choose – and won.”
Reproductive rights played a leading role in U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s overwhelming defeat of anti-choice candidate Wendy Long by a margin of 46 percentage points – 18 points greater than her margin of victory in 2010 (a race in which a woman’s right to choose did not emerge as an issue of contention). Concern about the fate of a woman’s right to choose also helped to propel Daniel Maffei to victory in the 24th congressional district against Ann Marie Buerkle, one of the most vehemently anti-choice members of the current Congress. Likewise, Sean Patrick Maloney emphasized his support for reproductive rights in his successful bid to defeat Nan Hayworth in the 19th congressional district, while Representative Louise Slaughter was able to defeat Maggie Brooks in the 25th congressional district by associating her challenger with anti-choice extremists like Paul Ryan and Todd Akin.
NARAL Pro-Choice New York worked across the state to educate and motivate pro-choice women voters to demonstrate the power of the pro-choice vote. The organization invested in large-scale independent expenditure campaigns in several key state Senate races, informing voters about candidates’ positions on women’s access to the full range of reproductive health care options. This focus helped drive George Latimer and Ted O’Brien to victory in the 37th and 55th Senate districts, respectively, and made several other races across the state highly competitive, leading to unexpectedly close finishes – including the race for the newly-created 46th Senate district, in which pro-choice candidate Cecilia Tkaczyk is currently ahead.
"More than a repudiation of extremist views on a woman’s right to choose, this election shows that, in New York, embracing a woman’s right and ability to make personal, private reproductive health decisions can provide the path to victory,” Miller continued. "Our pre-election polling predicted that candidates who go public with their support for the Reproductive Health Act – a bill to protect women’s rights and health here in New York – would gain critical support from women voters of all parties and demographics. Last night proved the point.”
Miller concluded, "This election sent a clear and indisputable message that as New Yorkers we want and expect our elected officials to stand up for reproductive health and rights. That’s a message that will be apparent once all the votes are counted, and a message that the victors should take back with them to Albany and Washington, D.C.”
See which NARAL Pro-Choice New York endorsed candidates prevailed on Election Day here.