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BOSTON--The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts (PPAF) has endorsed Tram Nguyen to represent the 18th Essex District of the House of Representatives and Sabrina Heisey to represent the 36th Middlesex District. Nguyen and Heisey are both challenging State Representatives who push harmful policies that would erect barriers to sexual and reproductive health care and restrict reproductive rights.

Nguyen is challenging Rep. Jim Lyons, who leads efforts to roll back the right to safe, legal abortion and limit women’s ability to make their own decisions. Lyons is the cosponsor of several harmful bills, including those that would impose medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion access and care, and wedge the state between patients and their doctors. Last year, he led a campaign to amend the state Constitution in order to deny low income women access to abortion. His hostility towards women’s health and rights extends beyond his opposition to safe, legal abortion. Lyons has attempted to “defund” Planned Parenthood, opposes legislation to expand access to sex education that helps teens delay sex and prevent unintended pregnancies, and voted against the Contraceptive ACCESS Law, which ensures Massachusetts residents have access to no-copay birth control.

Heisey is challenging Rep. Colleen Garry, who like Lyons, has supported multiple bills that fly in the face of science and are intended solely to undermine access to safe, legal abortion. Garry cosponsors legislation to “defund” Planned Parenthood. She has cosponsored bills that would arbitrarily ban certain abortion procedures, mandate state-scripted information and waiting periods for women seeking abortion, and exploit racist stereotypes in order to limit abortion rights. She also voted against a state law to protect patients and staff at reproductive health centers from harassment and intimidation.

“The people of the 18th Essex and 36th Middlesex districts deserve state representatives who will fight for their health and rights, not representatives who put their own ideological agendas ahead of the needs of their districts’ residents,” said Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, PPAF President. “Tram and Sabrina understand that education and health care access help build the foundation for thriving communities and will advocate for policies that ensure everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthy, fulfilling life. We are proud to stand with Tram and Sabrina.”

As a teenager in Lawrence, Nguyen led a youth sex education program, empowering her peers with information and resources to stay healthy. Nguyen is now a legal aid attorney, advocating for survivors of domestic abuse, exploited workers, and new immigrants. Heisey is school committee member, local activist, and mother of six. Both are dedicated to expanding access to comprehensive sex education in public schools, investing in family planning services, and protecting access to safe, legal abortion. They will champion Planned Parenthood patients, the LGBTQ community, and all people who face unjust barriers to care.

The 18th Essex District covers parts of Andover Boxford, North Andover, and Tewksbury. The 36th Middlesex District covers Dracut and Tyngsborough. The primary election is September 4. The general election is November 6.