For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
The majority of California voters voted NO in the right-wing recall attempt, which comes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade
Sacramento, CA — Yesterday, California voters overwhelmingly rejected the right-wing recall attempt, confirming that a majority of California voters continue to support Governor Gavin Newsom’s leadership over anti-choice candidates. NARAL Pro-Choice California successfully mobilized tens of thousands of voters across the state—by phone, text, email, and social media—to vote NO on unseating reproductive freedom champion Governor Newsom. This election happens at a pivotal moment for reproductive freedom: Earlier this month, Texas’ draconian anti-choice law (SB 8) went into effect, and the Supreme Court is preparing to hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.
NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Olivieri Hovis released the following statement:
“The Golden State is a proud reproductive freedom state, with an overwhelming majority of Californians supporting abortion access. This is not only a win for our state but the whole country. Last night’s results come in the wake of Texas’ radical new ban on abortion, and as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Our nation looks to California as an island for access and Governor Newsom as a champion for reproductive freedom. With this vote, we again affirmed who we are as Californians and the leadership role that we play as a beacon of progressive values for the rest of the country. NARAL Pro-Choice California and our nearly 300,000 members will continue to advance reproductive freedom so that if Roe falls or is further gutted, California is ready to provide care for the millions of women and pregnant people across the nation who may need us. ”
The 62% of ‘NO” votes against the recall highlights California voters’ commitment to reproductive freedom. NARAL’s polling shows that 80% of Californians cite reproductive freedom as playing an important role in their overall electoral decisions, with women ranking it as one of the three most important issues.
Throughout his tenure, Governor Newsom enacted groundbreaking legislation for reproductive freedom, while leading Republican candidates in this recall were vocally anti-choice. Larry Elder proclaimed his opposition to Roe v. Wade; Assemblymember Kevin Kiley supported employment discrimination against people for their personal reproductive health decisions; and John Cox opposes all abortion care. Kevin Faulconer and Caitlyn Jenner publicly supported Donald Trump, who solidified an anti-choice, anti-freedom supermajority on the Supreme Court.
NARAL Pro-Choice California members mobilized over 80,000 voters across the state to highlight the leadership of Governor Newsom on reproductive freedom. NARAL has also worked to reveal the anti-choice records and statements of Republican candidates on the ballot and underscore the stakes of this attempted right-wing power grab. Volunteers held weekly phone and text banks to encourage and remind Californians to cast their ballot for reproductive freedom. The defeated recall attempt was funded by major anti-choice donors who partnered with right-wing militia groups, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and Radical Right leaders.
NARAL is proud to have supported Governor Newsom since his first gubernatorial campaign in 2018 when he ran on prioritizing healthcare for all Californians and earned over 60% of the vote. Governor Newsom declared California a Reproductive Freedom State in 2019 and has kept his promise to voters since, signing groundbreaking reproductive freedom legislation into law, including the College Student Right to Access Act (SB 24) and the Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act (SB 464).
This recall attempt was part of a slew of attacks on reproductive freedom by anti-choice activists across the country. Anti-choice state lawmakers have already introduced, advanced, or passed more than 330 state bills attacking abortion access in 2021, including Texas’ SB 8. This bill bans abortion at approximately six weeks in pregnancy, before many even know they’re pregnant, and encourages anyone—including anti-choice activists—to essentially act as bounty hunters by awarding $10,000 or more to those who successfully sue another person for providing abortion care or assisting someone who gets an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy.
These efforts to undermine abortion access come as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a direct challenge to Roe. This year, over 90 restrictions on abortion access have been enacted at the state level, making it the worst year for abortion rights since Roe was decided.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, paid family leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support safe, legal abortion.