Onward to 2023: After a Rough Year, Six Reasons to Be Thankful
By Greg Greene | Dec. 29, 2022, 2:58 p.m.
2022. We marched, we hollered, we leaned on each other — and we voted. Oh, how we voted.
It was a hard year for many — our hearts are heavy for those living in states where basic freedoms have been taken away. But our victories galvanized us for the fights ahead. Before we turn the page in our calendars, let’s savor the wins.
When the Supreme Court made it clear they would take away our power over our own bodies and futures, people took to the streets by the thousands to say, in one voice, “bans off our bodies.”
The White House Had Our Backs
What a difference two years makes. After four years of attacks on reproductive health and freedom by former President Trump and his anti-abortion appointees, the 2020 election swept in an administration of abortion-rights allies — and this year, their support for reproductive rights was more essential than ever.
From issuing executive orders to using the platform of the presidency, the Biden-Harris White House and its appointees acted again and again in 2022 to protect access to abortion and reproductive health care. With abortion access under threat in much of the country in 2023, the administration’s willingness to fight for the rights of women, trans and nonbinary people remains crucial.
We Voted — and Kicked @&$
Anti-abortion politicians expected to throw a big party on Nov. 8, to celebrate victories from coast to coast. What they got — thanks to hundreds of reproductive-rights champions, thousands of volunteers, and millions of voters nationwide — was a rude awakening from people who want to control their own bodies and lives.
Abortion rights altered the course of the 2022 midterm elections, full stop. Thanks to fired up voters, we kept our reproductive rights majority in the Senate and elected candidates up and down the ballot who championed our right to reproductive freedom.
Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations went all in during the campaign, reaching 10 million voters via paid media and digital programs and 3 million more through field, phones, texts, and mail. Participants in this massive volunteer and staff effort sent 1.4 million text messages to voters, knocked on 1.1 million doors, and made 740,000 phone calls — helping to carry out Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations’ largest ever electoral program.
We Protected Abortion Rights at the State Level
Polls after the election made it clear: voters in the midterms turned out to protect abortion access. In every state where reproductive freedom was on the ballot in November, supporters of abortion access carried the day.
Four Words: Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
In a year of grim news from the Supreme Court, one bright light was the rise of a new justice to the nation’s highest bench. With Ketanji Brown Jackson, the Biden administration elevated an experienced, knowledgeable new justice to the Supreme Court — a woman with a deep commitment to public service and the pursuit of equal justice under the law.
Marriage Equality: Protected
Capping the year with a rainbow, Congress passed the Respect for Marriage Act — writing federal recognition, benefits, and protections for same-sex and interracial marriage into United States law.
The act repeals a 1990s law that tried to block the eventual success of the fight for marriage equality. It also protects the right to marry even if the Supreme Court were to reverse Obergefell v. Hodges — the landmark decision that protects same-sex marriage — in the same way it overturned Roe v. Wade.
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Tags: 2022 Wrap-Up, 2022 in Review, New Year