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Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund celebrates election of Natalie Higgins to the House of Representatives

For Immediate Release: November 8, 2016

Contact:  Johanna Kaiser, Media Relations Manager, (617) 515-0531

 

Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund celebrates election of Natalie Higgins to the House of Representatives 

Voters’ overwhelming support of reproductive rights helped Higgins defeat PPAF opponent

 

BOSTON – The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts (PPAF) celebrates the election of Natalie Higgins as State Representative of the 4th Worcester District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Higgins’s election is a victory for women, men and young people who benefit from greater access to health care.

“Natalie Higgins understands that access to sexual and reproductive health care and providing comprehensive sexuality education to young people are essential for building healthy communities. She will put patients first, strengthen reproductive rights, and work to remove barriers to health care,” said Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president of PPAF. “Her victory over an opponent of reproductive rights makes it clear voters in this district are committed to protecting sexual and reproductive health care and greater health equity for all.”

Higgins has worked as a teen counselor and educator at Pathways for Change, a rape crisis center in Worcester, and now serves on Pathways’ Board of Directors. Higgins worked with the Reproductive Rights Initiative of the Human Rights Law Network, advocating for the legal rights of women in India. These experiences reinforce Higgins’s support for PPAF’s legislative priorities, which are a series of smart sexual and reproductive health policies, including stronger patient confidentiality protections, expanded access to comprehensive sexuality education in public schools, fully funded family planning services, and equal access to safe, legal abortion.

In the weeks leading up to tonight’s election, PPAF ran a volunteer-driven voter education program through grassroots efforts and digital campaigns to inform voters about where the candidates stand and turn out voters across the state.

Higgins’s victory, along with the success of several other supporters of reproductive rights tonight, underscores recent polling that found 79 percent of Massachusetts voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who believes decisions about abortion, in consultation with her doctor, while 83 percent said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who wants to ban safe, legal abortion.

“In this national political climate, we need bold allies like Representative-elect Higgins to further solidify Massachusetts’s role as a national leader in health care and equal rights,” said Childs-Roshak. “With even more allies in the State House, lawmakers have the opportunity to expand access to sexual and reproductive health care and comprehensive sexuality education, eliminate barriers to vital health care and preventive services, and build healthier communities across the state.”

 

Background:

The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts (PPAF) is the advocacy and political arm of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM). As a non-partisan entity, PPAF offers all candidates, regardless of party, an opportunity to complete its candidate questionnaire and seek the endorsement of PPAF. PPAF’s 2016 slate of endorsements is available here.

 

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The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts (PPAF) is the advocacy and political arm of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM). Formed in 1984, PPAF believes that working within the political process is critical to advancing PPLM’s mission to increase access to sexual and reproductive health services and comprehensive sexuality education for women, men, and families across Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.pplmvotes.org.