03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

New York Voters Send Right Wing Packing in 23rd Congressional District

As watchdogs for
women’s reproductive rights in New York State, Planned Parenthood Advocates of
New York (PPANY) was heartened to see voters in New York’s 23rd
Congressional District send Conservative Party Candidate Doug Hoffman packing
by voting in Bill Owens as their next Representative in Washington.

In this dynamic
race, PPANY endorsed Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate, who has
consistently and courageously stood up for the health and rights of women and
their families, often times crossing party lines to do what is right for her
community. The GOP failed to
back its own candidate, and, in fact, the party allowed outside influences such
as the New York State Conservative Party and the Club for Growth to hijack the
election and force out a highly regarded candidate who is part of the fabric of
that community. This is not good for the GOP or for women.

What does all
this electoral chaos mean for the women of New York’s 23rd Congressional
District? According to the Guttmacher Institute, 37,220 women in New York’s 23rd
were in need of publicly supported contraceptive services in 2006. Publicly
funded family planning centers only served 19,820 women that year, just more
than half of those in need. Certainly, the need has only grown since then. Today, more
than 6
in 10 patients who receive care at a women’s health center, like Planned Parenthood,
consider it their primary source of health care. Women need representatives in Congress who will fight for
access to these vital health care services.

We are excited
to have the opportunity to work with Representative-elect Bill Owens on issues
that are important to the women and families of the 23rd
Congressional District. No doubt he’ll be faced with these issues right away.

women and families of New York State, including those living in the 23rd
Congressional District, deserve Congressional leaders who will fight for access
to the most basic of health care needs for women and who will not be beholden
to outside influences. Thankfully, the voters in this election came to the same