In today’s Quickie: Alexis McGill Johnson talks midterms with CBS and The Atlantic, an open letter to Megan Thee Stallion, and abortion care for immigrant youth
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE ABORTION: Yesterday morning, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Alexis McGill Johnson joined CBS News to discuss how abortion made all the difference in the midterm elections. Alexis spoke about how voters showed up to support reproductive freedom in states like Michigan, Vermont, and California, and rebuke anti-abortion measures in Montana and Kentucky. On the message that the results of the election sent, Alexis noted:
“It was actually really surprising to us in the last few weeks before the election when people wanted us to pivot. They wanted to stop having a conversation around abortion and only focus on the economy and inflation as if we are single issue voters. As if we don’t actually connect the dots around if and when you decide to become a parent, that in itself can be an economic decision for some. … So I do think that both parties underestimated, in some ways, how significant abortion continues to be and they also didn’t take into account that this was going to be the first time since the Dobbs decision that we had to express our outrage and betrayal. And that’s what we did, over and over again.”
WE STAND WITH MEGAN THEE STALLION: Planned Parenthood president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson signed onto a joint letter of support for rapper Megan Thee Stallion, denouncing racist and misogynistic attacks against her and all women. Since 2020, Megan has been the target of public ridicule after sharing that her then-friend Tory Lanez shot her. Following the incident, bloggers, other artists, and social media users have cast doubt on Megan’s harrowing experience.
The letter reads:
“An estimated one in three women worldwide has been the victim of sexual and/or domestic violence. Here in the United States, the numbers are higher for Black women, who also experience psychological abuse — such as humiliation, name-calling, and insults — at an increased rate. Women of all races, cis and trans, are suffering daily and we’re all too complacent.
“From day one, you deserved a chorus of voices saying, ‘We believe you, Megan,’ and though you may not have been able to hear us sooner, know that we are with you now and every step of the way as you continue to heal from this tragedy. We are committed to making the world safer for you and all women, and one of the important steps that we must take to get there is to make it so that women who have been victims of violence can speak about their experiences without being attacked or dismissed.”
The Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium issued the letter, along with other leaders and industry figures, including Tamika D. Mallory, “Me Too” founder Tarana Burke, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and more. Read it in full here.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION REQUIRES IMMIGRANT YOUTH BE GIVEN ACCESS TO ABORTION: Abortion is health care–and everyone deserves to make decisions about their bodies, lives, and futures. The Biden administration is requiring that immigrant youth in federal care have access to abortion and birth control, including by housing them in states without abortion bans–and with broad access to sexual and reproductive health care.
Read more from CBS here.
REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM WINS: As midterm results continue to come out, a consistent theme prevails: Abortion rights dramatically shaped this election cycle. The Atlantic’s John Hendrickson wrote about “How Abortion Defined the 2022 Midterms.” Hendrickson emphasized the infamous moment on the debate stage when former Pennsylvania senate candidate Mehmet Oz said abortion should be between “a woman, her doctor, and local political leaders” — shattering what little life his campaign had left. Exit polling showed that abortion was the number one issue for Pennslyvanian voters.
In “Abortion access proved to be a powerful force in 2022 midterm elections,” CBS’s Sarah Ewall-Wice and Caitlin Huey-Burns highlighted the impact of abortion rights for voters in Michigan. Michiganders identified abortion as the most important issue and followed through by not only voting to protect abortion rights via a constitutional amendment but also re-electing Governor Whitmer and other reproductive rights champions in the state legislature.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, talked about the grassroots organizing that lead to these historic wins with Supercreator:
“We were back on the doors this cycle in a way obviously that we haven’t been in COVID years having conversations with folks directly about abortion — no minced words, just straight-up conversations,” McGill Johnson said. “And obviously, when you have a constitutional right taken away from you and have a very direct conversation around the implications of that a year into seeing what that looks like in Texas. But we were able to meet people where they were with other issues that they cared about.”