How EMILY’s List Lost Its Way

“I don’t regret it,” said then-Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores with tears in her eyes on the state assembly floor in 2013. Flores was speaking about her choice to have an abortion at age 16. How she didn’t want to experience the hardship of her “six other sisters,” who all “became pregnant in their teens.”

Flores’ unapologetic recounting of her own abortion while defending a sex education bill on the assembly floor shot her to national fame. Her life experience—growing up poor as one of 13 children to Mexican immigrant parents, dropping out of high school, going to jail, and eventually getting her law degree—informed her commitment to fighting for reproductive rights and low-income women. It also made her the perfect face to spread the message of pro-choice political advocacy group EMILY’s List.

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