The right to vote is fundamentally intertwined with our right to reproductive freedom
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The critical legislation will restore the essential provision of the Voting Rights Act that blocks discriminatory voting policies before they go into effect and puts a transparent process in place for protecting the freedom to vote.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president & CEO, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“The freedom to vote is a fundamental cornerstone of our democracy. Yet for years, politicians have worked tirelessly to restrict this right, silence our voices, and cling to power by any means necessary. It’s no coincidence that state-based efforts to undermine the right to vote are being pushed alongside many other regressive policies — all aimed at disproportionately harming people of color, women, people with low incomes, and LGBTQ+ people. And it is through these means that access to health care, racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, and reproductive freedom have been denied.
“We cannot let a vocal minority continue to stomp on our rights and take away our freedoms. Today’s passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the U.S. House of Representatives is an important step, but it cannot be the last. The Senate must follow suit and ensure that we the people, all the people, can participate in our democracy.”
This year alone, as of July, more than 400 state-level bills have been introduced that create barriers to voting. In the state of Georgia, the home of John Lewis, Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law enacting new voter restrictions that particularly affect many voters of color, such as criminalizing handing out water to people waiting in long lines, shortening the period to request an absentee ballot, and creating new limitations for drop-boxes. In Texas, more than 100 state legislators left the state in an attempt to break quorum and stop voting restrictions from passing in the state legislature. This month, the Texas State Senate passed voting restrictions despite a 15-hour filibuster.
The federal government must act. The Senate must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and send the legislation to President Biden’s desk.
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.