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Our health and rights are on the ballot in the 2022 midterm elections. On Nov. 8, you get to help decide the fate of critical issues — abortion rights, access to birth control, the maternal health crisis, rights for LGBTQ+ people, and the strength of our democracy. Your vote matters in this high-stakes election.

Before you head to the polls, here are some more things to consider — in addition to the important topics we’ve already talked about.

Protect LGBTQ+ Rights 

The politicians enacting sweeping abortion bans throughout the country have also targeted the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ people — including trans and nonbinary youth. A growing number of states now have bans on gender-affirming care for trans and nonbinary people under 18. 

In response to this and other sweeping anti-LGBTQ+ attacks, the Biden administration has: 

  • signed executive orders protecting LGBTQ+ people’s access to health care without discrimination; 

  • clarified that federal laws do not allow sex discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity;

  • proposed a new rule to prevent providers and health insurers from refusing to provide or cover gender-affirming care for discriminatory reasons; and

  • released guidance to states that makes it clear that blocking transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming care, or disclosing patient information about that care, violates federal law. 

There is a bill in Congress, the Equality Act, which would expand civil rights laws to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity and sexual orientation. Without these protections LGBTQ+ people will continue to face discrimination that will affect their ability to access quality health care, secure stable housing, and maintain meaningful employment. 

Planned Parenthood health centers offer supportive care to everyone, including trans and nonbinary patients. Many health centers offer gender-affirming care, critical services that can be lifesaving for trans and nonbinary people. That’s why Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorses the Equality Act.

In this election, we can elect the leaders who will make the Equality Act the law of the land and ensure LGBTQ+ people have access to critical rights and protections.

Address the Maternal Health Crisis 

More women die in childbirth in the United States than in any other high-income country. Because of systemic racism, Black women are three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes, and Indigenous women are twice as likely. Over 80% of those deaths are preventable. 

With abortion bans spreading across much of the country, many pregnant people will find themselves with little choice but to to carry pregnancies to term and give birth against their will — putting more people in danger.

The Biden-Harris administration has worked to address the maternal health crisis by:

  • signing legislation to allow states to expand Medicaid’s pregnancy coverage to 12 months postpartum. Twenty-six states and Washington, D.C., have now expanded postpartum Medicaid coverage — benefiting more than 360,000 people who would have otherwise lost coverage after 60 days.

  • implementing Vice President Kamala Harris’s Maternal Health Initiative, which strengthens the maternal-care provider workforce, establishes best practices to ensure safe pregnancies, and makes maternity care more available in rural and higher-risk communities.

  • boosting federal investments to address the root causes of race-based disparities with community-focused and community-led interventions. 

Every person — whether they’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or avoiding pregnancy — deserves access to culturally competent, high-quality health care that meets their needs. Congress can bring us closer to that goal by supporting the Black Maternal Health “Momnibus” Act. This critical legislation would: 

  • authorize historic levels of federal funding to study and address the root causes of — and sustain community-led solutions to — the maternal health crisis; 

  • fund evidence-based interventions to address racism in health care that worsen pregnancy outcomes for Black and Indigenous people; and

  • expand Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – which together cover more than 40% of U.S. births — to 12 months after delivery, when more than half of pregnancy-related deaths occur. 

Addressing this country's maternal health crisis begins with electing leaders who will directly address the root causes of maternal deaths.

Restore and Enhance Voter Protections 

Anti-voter laws adopted after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to weaken the Voting Rights Act in 2013 have made it harder for many young people and Black, Latino and Indigenous people to vote. Proponents of such laws — who often oppose abortion, health care affordability, and gender and racial justice —- have suppressed the power of voters in their states who disagree with their goals. 

President Biden has taken steps to protect democracy. He has called for Senate rule changes to make it easier to pass laws that protect democracy, and issued an order instructing his administration to do everything in its authority to address anti-voter laws.

To reverse the harm done by anti-voter state laws, Congress must pass the Freedom to Vote and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Acts. These proposals would restore critical elements of the Voting Rights Act that have been undermined by the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years — elements that allowed the federal government to oversee voting laws and practices in states where governments formerly engaged in racist, Jim Crow practices. These bills would take additional steps by: 

  • establishing Election Day as a federal holiday;

  • expanding voter registration and ballot access through automatic and same-day registration, and increasing opportunities to vote-by-mail and vote early;

  • removing barriers to voting for people with criminal records who’ve served their sentences — restoring voting rights in communities of color, where political expression has been disproportionately suppressed by unjust legal systems; and

  • outlining criteria for congressional redistricting, blocking mid-decade redistricting, and reforming campaign-finance laws.

We must elect leaders who will strengthen our democracy and allow the people to make their voices heard on issues that affect our lives.

Make a Plan to Vote

Want to take control of the 2022 election? Make a plan to vote and stick to it. Here’s how.

Paid for by Planned Parenthood Votes, 123 William Street, NY NY 10038. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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Tags: Voting Rights, LGBTQ+ Rights, Maternal Mortality

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