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After abortion bill, former congressional candidate criticizes Emily’s List for neglecting women in Alabama

Gabby Dance

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Former Miss America Mallory Hagan sparked nationwide attention when she stepped up against Republican incumbent Mike Rogers to run for Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District seat for the U.S. House of Representatives.

A champion for body positivity and a drop in the wave of Democratic women running for office, Hagan had potential to rebrand Alabama’s struggling Democratic party, yet was cast aside by several notorious Democratic donors.

Hagan criticized one of these organizations, pro-choice political action committee Emily’s List, on Twitter on Wednesday, saying they abandoned women running for office in Alabama in the 2018 election.

In response to an Emily’s List tweet calling for more pro-choice Democratic women in the Alabama Legislature in the wake of the Alabama Senate’s passage of House Bill 314, which bans abortion in almost all cases, Hagan noted that the organization failed to financially support women who ran for office in Alabama during the 2018 election.

“In a year like 2018, where we had more women running in Alabama than we’ve ever had in history and some really strong candidates, we received relatively no support,” Hagan said.

Emily’s List, which has backed notable politicians like Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, aims to help pro-choice, female candidates win seats in public office.

According to Hagan, she met with an Emily’s List employee in Washington D.C. during her campaign for Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District House seat.

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“Ironically, I met with a man,” Hagan said.

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After that meeting and numerous campaign updates from Hagan’s team, she said the organization neglected her campaign.

“We reached out a couple of times after our meeting, but they sort of left us with the feeling of, like, ‘Eh, you’re not going to win, so there’s no point,’” Hagan said.

Hagan’s meeting with Emily’s List made her an outlier among Alabama’s female candidates, who mostly did not even have the opportunity to meet them in the first place.

“They really overlook states like Alabama where they sort of feel like we’re just a lost cause,” Hagan said.

Hagan said the organization seems to only invest in landslide candidates, causing them to ignore important areas like the South where candidates may need more financial support.

“You have to raise a certain amount of money before you’re considered a serious candidate, but it takes money to raise money, right?” Hagan said.

Since its founding in 1985, Emily’s List has established itself as a huge force in the Democratic party — a party that also did not have Hagan’s back during her campaign.

In a speech to her supporters on the night of her campaign loss, Hagan noted that the party did not offer her much support, declaring that “the challenge in the state of Alabama is not the Republican Party; it is the Democratic party.”

Though the Democratic party let her down, she has not switched sides. She described the passage of HB 314, which was completely passed by Republican men, as embarrassing and terrifying for the state of Alabama.

“It’s absolutely inconceivable to me that we would consider banning abortion when we have not provided the opportunity and resources for women to carry healthy pregnancies to term in the first place,” Hagan said.

For those looking to fight against this bill, she recommends donating to organizations like Yellowhammer Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood instead of Emily’s List.

“I would just steer clear of organizations that are raising money on the backs of this conversation and didn’t actually do anything in 2018,” Hagan said.

 

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