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WASHINGTON, DC — Despite the U.S. House of Representatives flipping to a pro-reproductive health majority, the 2018 midterms were marred by widespread voter suppression. CNN exit polls show a 20-point gender gap in House races, with 73 percent of Latina women and 92 percent of Black women supporting Democratic candidates — candidates running under a party with reproductive rights in its plank. Millions more could have joined them at the polls if not for the racist, coordinated effort to disenfranchise people of color, people with low incomes, people with disabilities, and young people.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund condemns attempts to stop these communities, which include the communities that Planned Parenthood health centers serve, from participating fully in their communities and the democratic process. 

Statement from Kelley Robinson, National Organizing Director, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Voting is one of the most important tools people have to advocate for their fundamental human rights — including access to reproductive health care, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights and racial justice. Whether our candidates win or lose, we have a responsibility to advocate for true representation and to fight back against attempts to disenfranchise communities who have been underrepresented, marginalized, and discriminated against. Anything less is condoning this racist attack on our democracy.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 24 states have implemented new restrictions on voting since the 2010 election — including implementing voter ID laws, putting up barriers to registration, limiting early voting, and refusing to restore voting rights to people with past criminal convictions. Ending voter suppression will require intentional collaboration between volunteers, advocates, and elected officials. This election, Planned Parenthood Votes partnered on phone banks with the GA Engaged coalition table to help voters who had their absentee ballots rejected secure another ballot or find a local polling place to ensure they could still cast their ballot. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is also part of the Declaration for American Democracy coalition working collectively to pass a series of fundamental reforms to build a democracy where everyone participates, every vote is counted, voting rights are fully enforced, and everyone’s voice is heard.

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.

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