Planned Parenthood endorses Mackler in U.S. Senate race

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed Democrat James Mackler in Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race.

“People across Tennessee want their elected officials to stand up to the Trump administration’s attacks that put our health, rights, and freedoms at risk,” Francie Hunt, the executive director of Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood, said in a release. “James Mackler has been steadfast in his support for abortion rights and making the full range of women’s health services available to all.”

Diana Onyejiaka of Nashville and Marquita Bradshaw of Memphis have also announced they will seek the Democratic nomination in the race.

Leading Republican candidates Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi are staunch opponents of abortion rights.

Here’s the full release:

NASHVILLE — Today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced its endorsement of James Mackler to protect the health and rights of people in Tennessee. This announcement is part of the Action Fund’s continued endorsement of federal candidates committed to reproductive health and rights around the country. From judicial nominations to abortion access to funding reproductive health programs, Congress makes critical decisions that directly impact Planned Parenthood health center patients every day.

“We are thrilled with Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s endorsement of James Mackler,” said Francie Hunt, executive director of Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood. “People across Tennessee want their elected officials to stand up to the Trump administration’s attacks that put our health, rights, and freedoms at risk. James Mackler has been steadfast in his support for abortion rights and making the full range of women’s health services available to all. Nearly 32,000 patients rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for reproductive health care in Tennessee. Those patients, and all Tennesseans, need a champion like him to fight for access to care in Congress.”

James Mackler is a combat veteran and National Guardsman who is committed without reservation to safe and legal access to abortion. He and his wife, Shana, are long-time supporters of Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, dating back to well before James decided to run for U.S. Senate.

“Women who cannot make health care decisions with their doctors are not free, and that’s not who we are as Americans,” Mackler said. “I’ve fought to defend our individual rights in the courtroom and on the battlefield and will continue protecting them in the U.S. Senate.”

Last year, 26 abortion bans passed in states across the country, meaning that people are having to cross state lines or wait long times just to access basic care. In 2018, the American people sent more women and women of color to Congress than ever before, and flipped the House of Representatives to a clear pro-reproductive health majority. In 2020, there is a clear opportunity to flip the Senate and have a full Congress that will protect people’s health and rights.

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