Finally! Seven Reasons to Celebrate the Biden-Harris Win.
By Miriam Berg | Nov. 7, 2020, 11:50 a.m.
We can't contain our excitement (and relief) that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election. Here’s to a new beginning!
And who made this win possible? You. You never gave up. It was your hard work, your persistence. This is YOUR win.
As part of an unstoppable grassroots movement to protect reproductive freedom, Planned Parenthood Votes, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and local Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations contacted more than 5.5 million voters to get out the vote. Record turnout and wins for reproductive health champions up and down the ballot demonstrate again that a supermajority of Americans support the right to access sexual and reproductive health care, and politicians who oppose abortion are out of step with the country.
Black women proved, yet again, to be an electoral powerhouse — propelling wins for candidates who value justice, and sending a message to Trump that hostility to people of color and immigrants is for losers. Turnout was higher overall, but it looks like some of the biggest increases may have been among young people of color. They demanded change and they did it loudly.
Now, with new leaders and new vision, we get to reimagine what it means to take full control of our bodies and our lives.
So, let’s revel in it. Here are the seven wins putting the biggest smiles on our faces.
1. We kicked Trump out of office! Rejoice!
Now, we can work with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to undo the damage of Donald Trump’s presidency. We’ll hold them accountable to their campaign promises and the voters who elected them. That includes taking back what we lost during the last administration — like reduced access to safe and legal abortion, affordable birth control, care at Planned Parenthood health centers, and protections for LGBTQ+ people and other groups facing discrimination.
Trump’s reign of terror on communities of color is over. But it’s not just about him. Systemic inequities and biases are woven into the fabric of this nation’s policies and institutions, and we’re ready to demand that the new administration honor their commitment to righting those wrongs.
What’s more, Biden and Harris actually listen to scientists and believe in facts. They have a plan for the nation’s COVID-19 response that calls for equitable access to tests and treatment and increased health care system capacity. We’re prepared to help them begin the hard work of addressing racial disparities in the COVID-19 response, as the pandemic disproportionately ravages the health of Black communities.
2. Kamala Harris is the first Black person, first woman, AND first Asian American to become vice president of the United States.
With Kamala Harris as vice president, we’re optimistic about what the future can hold for women and people of color in office. Harris lives and thrives at the intersection of multiple identities.
Harris is also the child of immigrants, with a Tamil heritage through her mother and a Jamaican lineage through her father. She has said she’s dedicated to protecting immigrants’ rights, and we’ll be there to remind her of that dedication.
Harris told DACA recipients she and Biden “still have your back” and will protect DREAMers from deportations.
Harris and Biden will work to reduce immigrant detention, stop the inhumane treatment of immigrants at detention centers, and reunite families who were ripped apart by Trump’s cruel policies.
They promise to freeze deportations of immigrants and stop building the U.S.-Mexico border wall in their first 100 days in office. They’ll also create new pathways to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.
3. Planned Parenthood has champions in the White House again.
Biden and Harris understand that Planned Parenthood plays a crucial role in the nation’s health care system. They promised to stop efforts to “defund” Planned Parenthood and protect patients who rely on federal health care programs. In particular, they plan to end the Trump-Pence administration’s dangerous gag rule on Title X, the federal program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. The gag rule has left millions of patients without access to full information about their care, and put their health in jeopardy.
But we know these policy changes will not happen automatically. Even our champions need us to let them know we’re watching. So, get ready to join Planned Parenthood Action Fund in leveraging our collective power to make sure that Biden and Harris support the 2.4 million patients who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential services like birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment.
4. Our country’s leaders once again understand that abortion is health care.
What happened to abortion access in the last four years has been a nightmare. Thankfully, Biden and Harris have committed to defending access to safe, legal abortion.
But it’s not just protecting access — they pledged to expand it too.
- Both Biden and Harris have advocated ending the Hyde Amendment, a restriction that blocks people who rely on federal health programs from using their insurance to pay for abortion. We’ll be front and center to ensure they keep their word.
- We also expect the Biden White House to reverse the global gag rule, which bans overseas groups from getting U.S. funding if they provide or even mention abortion. Trump made the global gag rule more restrictive, and more dangerous. It’s linked to unsafe abortion — as well as women dying from pregnancy-related complications — in the poorest and hardest-to-reach communities around the world. And right now, the Trump administration is attempting to expand it even more before they leave office.
5. Biden and Harris will fight to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and health care equity overall.
We’re so grateful that the people who’ll be in charge of our country will protect health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and the 20 million Americans who didn’t have insurance before the ACA.
Biden and Harris will also create federal policies to reduce racial disparities in health care, particularly for maternal health. The maternal mortality rate is more than three times higher for Black patients than white patients, because of systemic barriers to health care coverage and services.
We’ll also work to ensure that efforts to expand the ACA and other health care programs include comprehensive coverage for sexual and reproductive health care, including for abortion and for immigrants. In fact, more than 90 organizations have already laid out a blueprint for the Biden-Harris administration to take bold executive and agency actions in its first days in office.
6. Birth control will once again be treated as what it is: essential health care.
Birth control is basic reproductive health care. And our country’s new leaders know birth control access is not up for debate. That’s why they pledged to defend the ACA’s requirement that insurers cover birth control without a copay, reverse harmful Trump policies that undermined this requirement, and stand up for employees whose bosses want to take away that guarantee.
We said it before and we’re thrilled to say it again: Biden and Harris pledged to repeal the Trump administration’s dangerous gag rule on Title X. This is huge.
7. Sex education will get more support — not less.
The old, bad news: The Trump administration cut funding for evidence-based, comprehensive sex education programs that can help young people prevent unintended pregnancy — and refocused that funding toward abstinence-only and risk avoidance programs, which are proven to be ineffective.
The new, amazing news: Biden and Harris know that all young people deserve sex education. We’ll make sure they back those beliefs up with action.
We won’t give up until everyone has access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.
Bonus: Congressional and State Wins!
We’re equally thrilled that health care champions secured seats in the Congress and state legislatures across the country. Here are several more reasons to jump for joy.
U.S. House: Retaining Majority and Making History
In a major victory, the people voted to retain the pro-reproductive majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Their votes show that supporting safe, legal abortion is a winning political issue.
The U.S. House also saw some major firsts:
Two openly LGBTQ+ candidates won seats in the House. They’ll join seven openly LGBTQ+ representatives who won reelection in the House (and two in the Senate). That will give the 117th Congress the biggest and most diverse group of openly LGBTQ+ representatives in history.
The election of Cori Bush makes her the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress, and the first Black Lives Matter activism leader elected to Congress.
Winning, Holding U.S. Senate Seats
Many pro-reproductive rights senators held onto their seats in the Senate, including Sen. Mark Warner from Virginia, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire, and Sen. Cory Booker from New Jersey.
Voters also showed up to elect many reproductive health champions to the U.S. Senate.
In Colorado, John Hickenlooper defeated incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. Plus, voters defeated a dangerous 22-week abortion ban ballot measure.
Arizonans elected Mark Kelly — who understands the stakes for reproductive rights in the Grand Canyon State — to the U.S. Senate.
Michiganders reelected Sen. Gary Peters to the U.S. Senate. He is the first sitting senator to share a personal family experience with abortion.
Former Planned Parenthood Staff and Patients Won Big
Seven former Planned Parenthood staff and self-identified patients endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be heading to Congress or run-off elections in January, including:
Tina Smith, who won reelection to the U.S. Senate for Minnesota. She once served as executive vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
Nikema Williams, who won the election to represent Georgia’s 5th district. She spent almost eight years as vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates.
Rainbow Wave in the States
The LGBTQ Victory Fund and The Advocate are describing a Rainbow Wave in state legislatures.
On election night, the number of trans state lawmakers nearly doubled.
In Delaware, Sarah McBride became the first openly transgender state senator nationwide and the first trans member of Delaware's legislature.
Mauree Turner became Oklahoma’s first Muslim state legislator (representing HD-88) and the nation’s first nonbinary legislator in U.S. history.
Today We Celebrate. Tomorrow, We Get to Work.
But this isn’t where our work ends. Just as we decided the election, now we decide our futures.
We must come together to demand a peaceful transition of power, and refuse to allow Trump and his allies to attack our democracy between now and the inauguration.
In the months and years ahead, we’ll hold newly elected officials to their campaign promises to protect and advance reproductive freedom, civil rights, and access to health care. We’ll do everything we can to keep our health and rights at the top of their priority list.
And in the places where the outcome didn’t go our way: We’ll be there, fighting on until everyone — regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, income level — can live the life they want.
We won’t stop until we achieve true health equity, and when we all can take full control of our bodies and our lives.
Join our movement of activists building a world in which everyone gets to live the life they want.
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Tags: voting, Reproductive Rights, Donald Trump, abortion access, sexual health, Trump-Pence administration, 2020Election, Election Results