For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 2, 2022
With the stakes high, NARAL makes exception to engage in local race
Los Angeles, CA — Today, NARAL Pro-Choice California announced its endorsement of U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) in the Los Angeles mayoral race. Rep. Bass is running against Rick Caruso, who has a history of supporting anti-choice politicians and initiatives.
NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Olivieri Hovis released the following statement:
“Our nation is facing the likely end of Roe v. Wade, and the Golden State will have an enormous role in helping people from all across the country access the abortion care they need, especially in Los Angeles. We must elect leaders who can meet this critical moment, and that is why NARAL Pro-Choice California is making this historic endorsement of Rep. Karen Bass for Los Angeles mayor. While NARAL does not generally endorse in local races, the stakes in this race are too high to sit on the sidelines. Rep. Bass has been a lifelong champion of reproductive freedom, while her opponent Rick Caruso has been financially backing anti-choice politicians. NARAL and our nearly 300,000 members in California will be pulling out all the stops to make sure that California elects leaders like Rep. Bass, who will ensure California continues to be a Reproductive Freedom State.”
U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA), candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, said:
“Our reproductive rights are under attack all across this nation. As a woman, as a healthcare provider, and as an elected official, I have always fought for a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion and make her own decisions about her healthcare. I am so proud to be endorsed by NARAL, and will carry their work forward in Los Angeles—where we will ensure women will always have the right to choose.”
Rep. Bass has long been active in the fight for social and economic justice. In 1990, she founded Community Coalition in South LA, and in 2004 she was elected to the California State Assembly, becoming the first Black woman in the country to serve as speaker of a state legislative body in 2008. Rep. Bass is a champion of reproductive freedom, earning a 100% score in NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Reproductive Freedom every year over her more than decade-long tenure in Congress. Rep. Bass is a cosponsor of key bills to advance and protect reproductive freedom, including the Women’s Health Protection Act, the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act, the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights (HER) Act, and the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Bass has co-led a congressional sign-on letter on the importance of increasing funding for international family planning and reproductive health programs and ending programs that undermine global reproductive freedom.
This endorsement comes as NARAL Pro-Choice California is ramping up its electoral work during a critical moment in the fight for reproductive freedom. NARAL Pro-Choice America, the organization’s national arm, has already begun accelerating its work to elect candidates up and down the ballot who will take bold action to safeguard and expand abortion rights. NARAL recently announced a partnership with Planned Parenthood Action Fund and EMILY’s List to collectively spend a historic $150 million on the 2022 midterms to elect reproductive freedom champions.
In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case about Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade. A recently leaked draft majority opinion in the case indicates that the Court is poised to overturn Roe and end the constitutional right to abortion as we know it. California is home to more than a quarter of the nation’s healthcare facilities that provide abortion care, and in 2014, Los Angeles County accounted for 36% of all abortion care in the state. If Roe falls, 28 states are likely to take action to prohibit abortion outright, and there could be a 2,923% increase in women of reproductive age whose nearest abortion provider would be in California. The Golden State will have an outsized role in helping pregnant people from all across the country access the abortion care they need.
In response to nationwide attacks on reproductive freedom, NARAL Pro-Choice California and its allies formed the California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB Council) to create a blueprint for California’s next steps to safeguard and expand abortion access. In March, NARAL Pro-Choice California joined fellow FAB Council steering committee members to announce a legislative package of 13 bills introduced this year that will codify recommendations of the Council.
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, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—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 legal abortion.