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The Senate Failed to Pass The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as Attacks on Voting Rights Continue to Mount Nationwide

Voting Rights and Reproductive Rights are Interconnected 

WASHINGTON — Today, even with unanimous support from Democrats and one Republican senator, the U.S. Senate failed to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Act. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), would 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 to protect the freedom to vote.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund: 

“Instead of standing up for our country’s democratic principles and the will of the people, most Republican senators shamefully blocked efforts to protect voting rights. This alarming and unacceptable lack of action has dire implications for the fight for reproductive freedom, which is under grave threat despite overwhelming public support. The out-of-touch politicians who are aggressively attacking our right to vote are the same lawmakers attacking reproductive rights. Due to systemic racism and discrimination, this disproportionately harms people of color, women, people with low incomes, and LGBTQ+ people. Obstruction of our most fundamental rights can not stand. We thank Leader Schumer for bringing this bill to the floor and Sen. Leahy for leading on this issue. Planned Parenthood Action Fund urges the Senate majority to immediately protect our democracy, including the sacred right to vote, by any procedural means necessary.” 

Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 27, at least 19 states enacted 33 laws that make it harder for Americans to vote. More than 425 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 state legislatures already this year. Many of these same states introduced legislation to restrict access to sexual and reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion. In 2021 alone, nearly 600 abortion restrictions have been introduced nationwide with more than 100 enacted into law — more than in any year since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. If Roe were overturned, 26 states would be poised to ban abortion, affecting nearly half of the women of reproductive age in the U.S.. 

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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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