Your Reproductive Rights Are On The Ballot On Tuesday
Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations have been organizing and mobilizing our communities every day for the past two years.
Since then, Trump has made good on many of those threats. Brett Kavanaugh — a man accused of sexual assault and with a clear record of ruling against women’s health and abortion rights — is now sitting on the Supreme Court. The Trump-Pence administration has proposed a gag rule to prevent doctors and nurses who participate in the Title X program from telling patients all their options when it comes to pregnancy, which could result in hundreds of thousands of people losing access to preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. And they’ve slashed the Affordable Care Act’s protections for birth control coverage — allowing your boss to decide what kind of birth control you are or are not allowed to have as part of your health insurance.
If the Women’s March was a spontaneous expression of anger at an admitted sexual predator taking office after losing the popular vote, then November 6, 2018 will be the crescendo of the rage that has built up in response to what he has done since. That’s why the Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations have been organizing and mobilizing our communities every day for the past two years.
We are ready.
Record breaking numbers of women are running for office, determined to take the power they have been denied for too long. Poll after poll shows a historic gender gap, as women overwhelmingly vote against politicians who have voted time and time again against protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and to decimate access to reproductive health care.
Today, in my home state of Louisiana, and in far too many states like it, my daughters have fewer rights than I did growing up. They have less access to care and more barriers to accessing it where it does exist. The path to win back our rights starts at voting booths on November 6. Having Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court means that there is no backstop against the anti-women’s health politicians in the White House, in Congress, and in state legislatures across the country. But this election is our chance to put a check on them and to turn the tide, by voting for candidates who will fight for our reproductive health and rights. That’s the only way we ensure that our children and grandchildren have more rights than we do today.
Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations are in the midst of our largest midterm campaign ever. We’ve got a grassroots army that is knocking on doors every day all across the country and providing voters with an unbiased view of exactly what’s on the line. We’re giving our volunteers new, innovative tools they can use to mobilize their friends, neighbors, and family to vote. By November 6, we’ll have knocked 3 million door and reached 4.5 million voters.
We know that the decks are stacked against us — voter suppression, gerrymandering and more mean that we’ll have to work harder to get our champions across the finish line. And every door we knock and every dollar we spend working to elect those champions is made possible by our supporters donating their time and funds.
So Planned Parenthood political and advocacy organizations are campaigning hard for our values and the candidates who support them. Candidates like Georgia’s Stacey Abrams, who would be the first black female governor in the history of the United States, and who could lead a state in the South, where abortion access has been decimated. And Minnesota’s Sen. Tina Smith, a lifelong advocate for reproductive rights (and former Planned Parenthood colleague) whose voice is desperately needed in Washington. We’re mobilizing voters to reject politicians like Arizona’s Rep. Martha McSally, who is campaigning for a seat in the U.S. Senate after voting to strip health care away from millions of Americans, and instead elect proven champion Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
November 6 is our first chance to take the power back. And there is proof across the country that things are already changing. The election of champions like Senator Doug Jones in Alabama, powered by overwhelming support from Black women, and Governor Ralph Northam’s victory in Virginia showed that putting reproductive health care front and center is a winning strategy.
These victories are a sign of things to come.
Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF), directs Planned Parenthood’s political and policy strategies — leading the organization’s work to defend access to care for millions of patients and advance reproductive rights and freedoms for all.