The Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced its endorsement of Kathy Hochul, the Erie County clerk, in the special election in New York’s 26th Congressional District race.  The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“As the highest ranking female elected official in Erie County, Kathy Hochul knows firsthand the importance of women’s health,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “Her commitment to public service has made her a passionate advocate for women’s health and rights, and we’re confident she will continue to promote and protect women’s health.”

“The voters in New York’s 26th Congressional District want to send someone to Congress whom they know they can count on to be a champion of women’s health,” said Karen Nelson, president of the Western New York chapter of Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York.  “Kathy Hochul is that candidate.  She has been a strong and inspiring voice for women since her first day in office.  If elected to Congress, she will continue to stand up for women and families and put commonsense health care needs ahead of ideology and politics.”

As a U.S. representative, Hochul will be a strong advocate in Congress to improve access to quality health care for women, fight to end discrimination and violence against women, support and protect a woman's right to choose, oppose efforts to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds to provide preventive health care, and invest in prevention programs, including family planning services and lifesaving cancer screenings.

Jane Corwin, one of Hochul's opponent in the race, supports efforts to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds to provide preventive health care to women.  This is a position very much out of the mainstream.  Recent polling by Quinnipiac University and NBC/Wall Street Journal shows majority support for federal funding for Planned Parenthood. 

The special election will be held on May 24, 2011.