NARAL Pro-Choice America, which advocates for abortion rights, is announcing Monday it has endorsed U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján in his bid to replace fellow Democrat Tom Udall, who is not seeking reelection to a third term in the Senate.
The endorsement comes after one of the state’s leading anti-abortion advocates – Elisa Martinez – entered the Republican race on Nov. 20 in the effort to succeed Udall.
“NARAL is proud to endorse Congressman Luján, a staunch advocate for reproductive freedom who for a decade has demonstrated his commitment to fighting for women and families in Congress,” NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said. “This election is critical to securing a pro-choice majority in the Senate, and there is no better candidate for the job. With so much at stake, Congressman Luján is a champion for the people of New Mexico and will stand strong against anti-choice extremists.”
Luján said the organization played a crucial role in helping the Democrats claim a majority in the U.S. House in 2018. He is the lone Democrat in the race.
“I have always stood with women and families and will continue to fight back against attempts to weaken the right of women to make their own reproductive health decisions,” he said. “Together, we will continue to oppose anti-choice judges and put forward bold legislation to uplift women and families.”
The selection of conservative judges was an issue cited by Martinez when she weighed the decision to jump into the race. She is currently battling Albuquerque contractor Mick Rich and former New Mexico State University professor Gavin Clarkson for the Republican nomination.
“There is no greater battleground for our fight than the U.S. Senate,” Martinez said in an email to supporters before announcing her candidacy. “With the prospect of Supreme Court decisions and the current make-up of the court, a Pro-Life Senator could mean the difference between victory or utter defeat for the Pro-Life movement in the years to come.”
She has served as executive director of the nonprofit New Mexico Alliance for Life.
NARAL said Luján has consistently a 100% score in the Congressional Record on choice.
NARAL has also endorsed attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez in the 3rd Congressional District race to replace Luján.