The NIRH Action Fund believes that the vast majority of U.S. voters think that a woman who has decided to have an abortion should be able to access to safe, legal, supportive, affordable care in her community, without shame or pressure.

To make this vision a reality, the NIRH Action Fund engages in message-driven campaigns to challenge conventional electoral wisdom, pilot new ideas, and mobilize voters to turn out to vote for candidates who are champions for reproductive freedom.

As the first major statewide election following Trump’s 2016 win, the 2017 Virginia elections represented a referendum on Trump’s presidency and a major opportunity to reshape representation in Virginia. NIRH worked with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia to engage in two 2017 special elections, Ralph Northam’s gubernatorial primary, and two House races in the general election.

  • NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia reached 103% of their contact goal in House District 85 and Senate District 22 in the January 2017 Special Elections through a combination of staff and volunteer canvassing, volunteer phone banking, and paid phone banking.
  • NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia was able to contact over 10,500 voters by mail in the general election for Governor and 2 key house races.
  • With our funding, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia also organized 5,000 paid “Make a Plan to Vote” calls into each HD51 and HD93 in support of Hala Ayala and Delegate Mike Mullin.

Pro-choice voters saw sweeping victories across all of these races in 2017, with Ralph Northam winning the governorship and making unprecedented gains in the House of Delegates.

Ohio has been a lead swing state in presidential elections, having chosen the winning candidate in every election since 1960. With concerns about voter turnout in heavily pro-choice areas in the 2016 presidential election, NIRH Action Fund partnered with NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio to encourage early voting. Challenging the conventional wisdom that digital engagement is not effective in driving a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign, we ran a digital campaign targeting registered Democratic women, 25-50, with Pandora radio ads, Facebook ads, and display ads contrasting the positions of Secretary Clinton and Trump. The digital campaign was layered with phone calls that used a message-tested script.

In total, the online ad campaign generated 4,764,076 impressions resulting in 3,884 clicks through to our website to look up polling locations and receive additional information about pro-choice candidates on the ballot, and 6,163 messages were delivered directly to voters. This project informed targeted voters across Ohio and built up the electoral capacity of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

The NIRH Action Fund worked with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in 2016 on races, Levar Stoney for Richmond City Mayor and Mike Mullin for State House District 93 – both of whom were ultimately successful! Using proven and tested messages, NIRH helped design campaign literature and phone scripts emphasizing the reproductive health and rights credentials of endorsed candidates, and using the narrative of anti-abortion restrictions to cast their opponents as dangerous for Virginia. With our help, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia:

  • Contacted over 8,500 voters
  • Knocked over 2,200 doors.
  • Printed and distributed 2,000 pieces of literature.
  • Completed over 6,300 phone calls to pro-choice voters.

In 2015, an action fund affiliated with the National Institute for Reproductive Health tested a new strategy to build a multi-layered voter education and GOTV campaign in two pivotal VA state senate races during an extremely off-year election. Collaborating with Progress Virginia and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, we tested whether pro-choice issue-based persuasion and GOTV messaging could mobilize people to vote. Targets in the treatment group received pro-choice issue-based messages through WMAF’s 2015 mail, canvass, and digital persuasion and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) program. Targets in the control group received no contact. WMAF’s persuasion and GOTV program successfully increased turnout. Individuals that received the program were 1 pp more likely to vote than individuals who received no contact. Voters with lower turnout scores, African Americans, and men were particularly responsive to the program.