WASHINGTON, DC –Lena Dunham, author of Not That Kind of Girl, and creator and star of the HBO series Girls, has released a video urging young women to turn out to vote on November 4 in support of women’s health and rights. The video, which includes interviews from her recent book tour and video diaries from Lena's close friends, makes clear that young women care deeply about this election and are socially engaged around the high stakes for women’s health and rights.
You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wf_qYdyaZo&feature=youtu.be
One woman in the video says “the fact that we’re still fighting to be in control of our own bodies is crazy and sad.” Another says “I think we need to stop having politicians who think that they know what’s best for women. Only women and their families know what’s best for women.” Another says, “We want our bodies to belong to us and us alone. We want our bodies to be left alone.”
Lena ends with: “The fact is the midterm elections matter…. This is how you create the change you want. When you show up to the polls, you empower yourself; you empower the women you love, and you take control of your own body, back from politicians who don’t want the best for you. Girls want change. Girls are change. You have to vote on November 4th.”
Lena made the video to support the work of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The Action Fund is the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and is running its largest effort to get young people out to vote in support of candidates that will stand up and fight for them on important issues like affordable birth control, safe and legal abortion and equal pay.
“We hear a lot about how apathetic our millennial youth are, but that just hasn't been my experience. My friends — as well as the young women I met on my book tour, who are friends now too — have so much joy, anger, hunger for change,” Lena Dunham said in a statement. “They speak passionately about reproductive rights, about social justice, about race and class and body image. I’m honored to be living in a world with these young women. I want us to show up at the polls in record numbers, to show that we won’t stand for attacks on women and their rights, that we recognize our power to shape the future,” Dunham continued.
Yesterday, Lena Dunham and more than a dozen of her closest friends took to the internet and posted selfies wearing “Lena <3 Planned Parenthood” pink T-shirts in support of Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Women are Watching campaign to get young women out to vote on November 4. Some of the celebrities to show their support include: America Ferrera, Mindy Kaling, Jenna Lyons, Sara Bareilles, Leslie Mann, Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Janet Mock, and Gabrielle Union (full list below).
Every year, Planned Parenthood health centers see nearly three million patients for a wide-range of services, including family planning counseling and affordable birth control, lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections and safe, legal abortion. One in five women has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at some point in her lifetime to get high-quality, affordable and nonjudgmental health care.
“Our message to voters is simple: every vote counts. What happens this November will have enormous consequences for women’s health and rights in this country,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “It’s time to stand up to people who are trying to deny access to these basic rights to all women, and the easiest way to do that is to vote. This election is truly critical, and we need voters to stand up and send a message to politicians that you can’t win elections by opposing women’s health and rights,” continued Laguens.
In 2010, only 46.2 percent of women who were eligible to vote did so. Unmarried women, women of color, and young people ages 18-29 will be an increasingly sizeable component of the electorate this year as they represent over half of the voting-eligible population. This election presents a huge opportunity to ensure that millennials and communities that have been traditionally underrepresented, marginalized, and discriminated against all get out the vote.
You can learn more about the Women are Watching campaign here: http://womenarewatching.org/
We all lead busy lives, but we owe it to ourselves and our families to stand up for what we believe in by voting. And Planned Parenthood Action Fund can help. Text “I AM WATCHING” to 69866 to join the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Mobile Network and receive recurring updates about the election, candidate information and Planned Parenthood issues. You can Text STOP to quit at any time. Message and data rates may apply.
This is not the first time Dunham has spoken out in support of women’s health and Planned Parenthood. In an e-mail and corresponding blog post to Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s supporters last month, she outlines the five reasons she votes (and why you should too). She describes the “crazy and depressing truth” that there are people running for office, including U.S. Senate candidates Cory Gardner in Colorado and Thom Tillis in North Carolina, “who could actually affect your life. PARTICULARLY your sex life. PARTICULARLY if you're a woman.”
In 2012, Lena wore one of the organization’s Women are Watching T-shirts on her hit show Girls on HBO, and in response to the White House’s plans to accommodate religious nonprofits wanting to opt out of providing their employees access to birth control, Lena took to Twitter to ask her followers why they use birth control and linking to Planned Parenthood resources. Earlier this year she tweeted out in support of the Action Fund’s petition to NBC Universal urging them to air a trailer for the romantic comedy Obvious Child — which they had previously denied simply because it mentioned the word “abortion,” and in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Lena said that her heroes were the “men and women who work at Planned Parenthood centers across America.”
Full list of Dunham’s friends who photographed wearing “Lena <3 Planned Parenthood” pink T-shirts: