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Race to Watch: Colorado Senate

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David de la Fuente is the Political Assistant at NARAL Pro-Choice America.

This is the latest edition of our blog series "Races to Watch." Through this series, we'll highlight competitive races across the country featuring pro-choice and anti-choice candidates. Please share our posts with pro-choice friends who will support our candidates. When we know the stakes and we vote together, we change the game.


MarkUdall-Senate_Portrait_small.jpgSenator Mark Udall (D-CO) is many things. He is an avid mountaineer. He's a craft beer enthusiast (Colorado is the largest beer producing state in the country after all). He is a husband and volleyball dad. This all makes Sen. Udall a really likeable guy. But it's what he does everyday for Colorado women and families that makes him a cherished ally and leader who deserves our support. Sen. Udall believes that women and families should have the resources, education, and support to make the best decisions and thrive at all points in our reproductive lifetimes.

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC has proudly endorsed Sen. Udall because of his long history of fighting for women's reproductive health. His leadership is even more important now in the post Hobby Lobby world. Just days after the Supreme Court's decision, he worked with fellow senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to introduce the "Not My Boss's Business" Act to prevent employers' religious beliefs from trumping the religious liberty and reproductive rights of their employees. Udall stated, "My common-sense proposal will keep women's private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn't be able to dictate what is best for you and your family." Unfortunately, Republican leaders blocked the bill. But we know that this set-back won't stop Sen. Udall from continuing to push for women's access to birth control.

Sen. Udall is running for reelection this November and faces stiff opposition from anti-choice Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO). Gardner originally said he wasn't going to run, which allowed other less prominent Republicans to run - but then changed his mind 9 months later, forcing all others to drop out. It seems changing his mind about things and leaving people without options is a specialty of Gardner's.

Gardner has also built a reputation as an anti-choice congressman. In 2008 and 2010, Gardner actively supported "personhood" ballot initiatives in Colorado when he was running for office. But since announcing his statewide campaign, Gardner has changed his mind again and opposes the latest initiative, Colorado Amendment 67, which could ban all abortion in cases of rape and incest, as well as most common forms of birth control.

Gardner claims he "opposes" Amendment 67 because of newfound concerns that it would restrict women's access to birth control. But come on. His only concern is about getting women to vote for him! This is the same man who supported the Hobby Lobby decision and is still a cosponsor of a federal "personhood" bill that would ban abortion in cases of rape or incest as well as most common forms of birth control. Guess he hasn't changed his mind on that one yet.

We can't trust Cory Gardner to stick to his word, but you can count on him to stick it to Colorado women and families.

The decision couldn't be clearer, which is why NARAL Pro-Choice America is fully supporting Sen. Mark Udall this November. Coloradans need someone in the Senate who will always protect women's reproductive health care -- not someone who tries to win pro-choice votes in Colorado while pushing anti-choice legislation in Washington, D.C.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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