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Heck's Silence on Racist Ad Shows Clear Lack of Values, Leadership

Washington, DC -- Planned Parenthood Action Fund today endorsed former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto for U.S. Senate in Nevada. Cortez Masto has a strong record of standing up for reproductive rights, Nevada women, and Latino families.

Both Republican Senate candidates, Representative Joe Heck (NV-03) and Sharron Angle, support extreme restrictions on abortion that would harm Nevada women. Angle made her name backing extreme anti-LGBT, anti-woman policies, having made numerous inflammatory remarks, including that teenagers who are raped make  “a lemon situation into lemonade”by carrying a pregnancy to term. She is opposed to same-sex adoption.


Heck has put Angle’s words into action, having voted eight times to block patients from care at Planned Parenthood and restrict access to preventive health services for thousands of Nevada residents with low-income. Heck supports efforts to severely restrict access to safe, legal abortion.

Quote from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Catherine Cortez Masto is the leader Nevada women need in the U.S. Senate to fight against attacks on reproductive freedom and attempts to block patients from care at Planned Parenthood, stand up for equal pay, expand access to reproductive care, and move us into the 21st century. Nevada women have had enough of the dangerous policies supported by Joe Heck and Sharron Angle. Heck has voted eight times to block patients from care at Planned Parenthood. He backs harmful efforts to restrict access to safe, legal abortion, which could damage the health of Nevada women, and has voted against equal pay — policies all supported by Angle too.

“Most recently, Heck’s continued silence on the racist ad aired by his backers shows an extraordinary lack of leadership and denial of facts. These are not the values Nevada women need in their elected leaders.”

The endorsement comes less than one week after backers of Republican Senate candidate Congressman Joe Heck poured money into a racist, factually inaccurate ad wildly misrepresenting Cortez Masto’s record. The smear ad blatantly shames women of color from making their own decisions, with similar lines of attack having been widely debunked across the country.

During his time in the House of Representatives, Joe Heck has also voted against considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, tried to undermine access to fact-based sex education, voted for “personhood” legislation, and has opposed the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act that gave more than 55 million women access to no-copay birth control. Heck also thinks it’s OK for a woman’s boss to deny her birth control coverage.   

Cortez Masto has a strong record of standing up for Nevada women and girls, tackling issues like sex trafficking and violence against women head-on as Nevada’s Attorney General. She has been steadfast in her opposition to discriminatory policies against LGBT individuals.