The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Endorses Jessica Cisneros in TX-28

Jessica Cisneros is running against Henry Cuellar, the last anti-choice Democrat in the House.


Today, Jessica Cisneros, an immigration and human rights attorney running for Congress in South Texas, announced the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the reproductive rights group's first U.S. House candidate endorsement of the 2022 midterm election cycle. The endorsement comes after nearly 3 months since the implementation Texas' unconstitutional 6-week abortion ban putting abortion access and healthcare out of reach for millions of Texans. Cisneros is challenging Rep. Henry Cuellar who has been proudly anti-choice for decades, co-sponsoring anti-choice legislation with Republicans, supported Trump-era restrictions on abortion and reproductive healthcare, was the only Democrat to vote in favor of the discriminatory Hyde amendment this Congress and most recently was the only Democrat to vote against the Women's Health Protection Act.

"I am honored to be Planned Parenthood Action Fund's first U.S. House endorsement. Texans have lived under the shadow of S.B. 8 for 3 months and while people in our state are desperately seeking health care outside of Texas, Congressman Cuellar continues to turn his back to our community and stand with his extremist Republican allies, " said Jessica Cisneros. "His vote against the Women's Health Protection Act should send a clear message to all the people in our district: Henry Cuellar is severely out of step with the needs of our community. It's time South Texas families had a representative that will fight tirelessly for affordable healthcare and their reproductive freedom."

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund

"At Planned Parenthood Action Fund, electing champions like Jessica Cisneros, who will fight with us to expand access to sexual and reproductive health care, including birth control and safe, legal abortion, is imperative. This year, Texas passed one of the most extreme and dangerous abortion bans in the country. Rep. Henry Cuellar said nothing about S.B. 8 and voted against legislation to help protect abortion access in Texas and around the country. Unlike her opponent, Jessica believes reproductive health care is a human right and has a proven track record of advocating on behalf of her community. We look forward to Texans replacing the last Democrat to oppose abortion access in the House with Jessica Cisneros, who will be the voice and the vote that people in South Texas need."

Prior to the 6-week abortion ban going into effect, Texas already had some of the strictest abortion laws in the entire country. This abortion ban makes it nearly impossible for any person to access the health care they need, giving people only 6 weeks into their pregnancy to seek abortion care, before most people even know they are pregnant. Beyond that, it emboldens almost any private citizen to sue anyone suspected of helping someone seek abortion care for at least $10,000--from friends and family to doctors and even clergy members and ride-share drivers--with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Jessica Cisneros has been outspoken about Texas' abortion ban. She wrote an op-ed for Teen Vogue detailing the catastrophic effects for Texas communities and the additional barriers this law will create for those in South Texas who already have limited access to health care, as well as an interview in Vogue. Cisneros also received the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC in September this year. She has continued to uplift and emphasize the abortion funds on the ground in Texas working to connect people with the care they need, including Frontera Fund in South Texas.

Cisneros is a 28-year-old immigration and human rights attorney born and raised in the border town of Laredo. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Urged by her community, in 2020, she ran for Congress to change our broken immigration system at its source in Washington D.C. and bring South Texas the representation it deserves. She was able to raise over 2 million dollars and come within 3 percentage points from defeating a 15-year incumbent. Cisneros has now relaunched her campaign to unseat one of the most anti-worker, anti-choice, pro-corporate Democrats in Congress. She has received the endorsements of Justice Democrats, Way to Lead, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Democracy for America, the Working Families Party, Brand New Congress, Sunrise Movement, CWA Local 6143, USW District 13, Unite Here Local 23, former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Planned Parenthood was founded over 100 years ago on the revolutionary idea that women have the right to access the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives. Today, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) fights to protect that right--often in the face of extreme politicians trying to take it away.