Candidates for California Senate, Assembly Earn Endorsement from State’s Leading Pro-Choice Advocacy Group

For Immediate Release: December 19, 2019
Contact: media@prochoiceamerica.org

NARAL Pro-Choice California today announced its endorsement of four pro-choice Democratic candidates running to unseat anti-choice Republican lawmakers in Orange County: Katrina Foley, Melissa Fox, Josh Newman, and Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen. These Democratic challengers are committed to safeguarding reproductive freedom in California and have the opportunity to strengthen the pro-choice Democratic majorities in the state Assembly and Senate. 

“Each of the candidates in this impressive group has proven that they will work tirelessly for their communities and champion reproductive freedom in the state legislature — that’s why they’ve earned NARAL’s backing,” said Shannon Hovis, NARAL Pro-Choice California Director. “All four candidates have the chance to flip critical seats in Orange County to blue and strengthen our pro-choice majority in the state legislature. California is leading the country on reproductive freedom, and with this slate of candidates in the statehouse, we can push our work to protect abortion access and expand reproductive freedom even farther forward. We’re proud to back them in this fight.”  

Katrina Foley is running to represent California’s 37th State Senate District. Foley is a community leader, businesswoman and attorney who became Costa Mesa’s first directly elected Mayor in November 2018 after serving 10 years on the City Council. She has long been a champion for women and families. As an employee rights attorney, Foley has represented many women in pregnancy discrimination cases and has advocated for paid family leave. She previously served on the boards of Planned Parenthood San Bernardino and Orange Counties and of the Orange County Women Lawyers Association. She has also served on the Newport Mesa Unified School District Board of Trustees. 

“I’m grateful for the support of NARAL and for their efforts to protect reproductive freedom,” said Katrina Foley. “I’ve advocated for access to women’s reproductive health services since I was a student at UCLA. As an employee rights attorney, I’ve worked to protect pregnant workers from discrimination and sexual harassment. As a school board member, I’ve advocated for medically accurate health education for our students.  As a Councilmember and Mayor, I’ve initiated and voted to require improvements for families such as nursing stations and better benefit packages for our employees. As California’s State Senator, I will continue my work on these important issues as well as work to guarantee paid family leave and access to healthcare for all.”

 Melissa Fox is running to represent California’s 68th Assembly district. Fox is an Orange County native, Irvine city councilmember, and the Founder and Senior Attorney at The Fox Firm, a civil law firm specializing in business law and public affairs. She has served on the Irvine Council since 2016 after winning an at-large, citywide election. Fox has been an advocate for reproductive freedom since, at the age of 17, she attended the March on Washington. She founded Orange County’s local chapter of Women Lead, and served on the National Board of National Women’s Political Caucus and as the California President. 

“I am deeply honored to have NARAL Pro-Choice California stand by me in the fight to protect and defend women’s access to reproductive health care services,” said Melissa Fox. “It is critical that we come together to fight for reproductive freedom and ensure that decisions regarding reproductive health are based off a woman’s own choice, not someone else’s. This endorsement reflects my lifelong commitment to a woman’s right to choose and I cannot wait to continue my work fighting for women’s reproductive rights in the Assembly.” 

Josh Newman is running to represent California’s 29th Senate District, a seat he previously held, to unseat Republican Ling Ling Chang. Newman is a former United States Army officer, community and veteran activist, businessman, and founder of a non-profit organization. As an elected official and community advocate, Newman has fought to protect and expand reproductive rights and access to health services, consistently voting to protect abortion rights and expand access to family planning services. 

“I’m incredibly grateful to have the support of NARAL Pro-Choice California in the fight to protect and enhance reproductive freedom,” said Josh Newman. “As an elected official, community advocate, and private citizen I have consistently fought to protect and expand reproductive rights and access to family planning and other health services. As a member of the California State Senate, I look forward to continuing to work closely with NARAL to continue advancing policies that empower women and families to make educated choices about their health and protect reproductive freedom, particularly in this time of widespread uncertainty for abortion rights across our nation.”

Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen is running to represent California State Assembly District 72. She is a laboratory cancer scientist, Garden Grove City Councilmember, and community organizer. She works as a Clinical Genetic Molecular Biologist Scientist and Clinical Cytogeneticist. Diedre was first elected to serve on the Garden Grove City Council in 2016 and was re-elected in 2018. As a broadcaster on a local Vietnamese public affairs program, she has taken the message of reproductive rights and healthcare access to women in the Vietnamese community.

“I am grateful for NARAL’s support,” said Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen. “Their early help and support are critically important as we head towards campaign fundraising deadlines and the early primary in March.”  

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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked 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. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom.  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.”
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