Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Celebrates Five Wins for Women’s Health Champions in the State Legislature

AUSTIN, TX — In a victory for women’s health and rights, voters in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio elected five women’s health champions to the Texas House of Representatives.

Quote from Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director for Planned Parenthood Texas Votes:

“Congratulations to Victoria Neave, Philip Cortez, Tomas Uresti, Mary Ann Perez and incumbent Sarah Davis on their election victories tonight. These races were very competitive and our endorsed candidates worked hard to make sure voters knew where they stood on the issues. Planned Parenthood Texas Votes PAC made sure that women’s health and rights were front and center for Texas voters. The election results tonight show that women and men who support Planned Parenthood demand that their elected officials support and protect women’s health and rights.

Despite the Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that struck down key provisions in the 2013 anti-abortion law HB 2, Governor Abbott and extremist politicians in the state legislature continue and promise to increase efforts to restrict access to abortion and reproductive rights. Voters have elected pro-choice candidates to the Texas House of Representatives and these new House members will make sure that the voices, stories and needs of Texas women are represented during the 2017 legislative session.

Tonight, we celebrate these important victories, and tomorrow we get back to work fighting to protect access to reproductive health care.”

BACKGROUND ON CHALLENGER WINS

Victoria Neave (HD 107) holds a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. She ran a strong campaign focused on issues that impact women most like earning equal pay for equal work and supporting access to women’s health care.

Former legislators returning to the State House, Phil Cortez (HD 117) and Mary Ann Perez (HD 144) have proven records of standing up for Texas women, including voting against HB 2.

The opponents in HD 107, HD 117 and HD 144 have clear records of voting against Planned Parenthood and against reproductive rights. In the 2015 legislative session they went so far as to vote to further restrict access to abortion for abused teens, even those who are victims of rape and incest.

Tomas Uresti holds a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood Texas Votes and handily unseated John Lujan. Lujan has been known to join extremist groups protesting outside of Planned Parenthood health centers and touted endorsements from groups that describe reproductive health care as “evil”.

BACKGROUND ON INCUMBENT WIN

Incumbent State Representative Sarah Davis (HD 134) is the only Republican in the state legislature who publicly supports women’s health, full reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood. She has been an active champion for women’s health, fighting against the anti-abortion law, HB 2 and fighting to protect women’s health funding for cancer screenings.

SUMMARY PPTV PAC ELECTORAL ACTIVITY BY PLANNED PARENTHOOD TEXAS VOTES PAC

  • Made over 70,000 calls to voters
  • Mailed over 70,000 pieces of mail
  • Delivered 6.5 million digital impressions through online ads
  • Connected nearly 3,500 voters directly to candidates through tele-townhalls
  • Contributed over 700 hours of volunteer time in support of candidates

Because of our nationwide outreach, our ability to move key swing and base voters, and strong support for our issues Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations helped turn out voters and worked to move voters toward women’s health champions this election

Despite high-profile extremist efforts to demonize Planned Parenthood, support for Planned Parenthood health centers remains remarkably high among actual voters. A recent Public Policy Polling poll showed strong support for Planned Parenthood, and opposition to candidates who have voted to defund the nonprofit health care provider. A recent Politico-Harvard poll also showed overwhelming support for Planned Parenthood, including 48 percent support for Planned Parenthood from self-identified Trump supporters. Additionally, through field testing, Planned Parenthood Votes has seen door-to-door canvassing move undecided voters up to 12 points. And during the last presidential debate, a CNN focus group in the critical state of Nevada showed that undecided voters were most moved when Hillary strongly defended Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.

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Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is the nonpartisan policy, advocacy and political arm for the Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas.