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The Right to Vote Is a Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice Issue

The following is an open letter from 160 reproductive health, rights, and justice movement leaders, including state legislators.

Dear State Legislator,

We, the undersigned organizations, state legislators, and leaders in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement, join together to call out the racist and anti-democratic attacks on voting rights and access happening in state legislatures across the United States.

Conservative state legislators have ramped up their efforts to make it harder to vote. Voter restrictions have long been part of the conservative platform; however, their attempts to push anti-democracy bills have recently spiked, in response to record voter turnout, revealing they will stop at nothing to disenfranchise Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC).  In the 2021 state legislative session alone, 253 anti-voter bills have been introduced in 43 states with this number expected to grow. The bills institute new barriers to voting and target people of color and by reducing  hours of polling locations, cutting back on early voting options, requiring new, unnecessary identification requirements and curtailing or eliminating absentee voting.

Conservatives are trying to destroy our democracy. The 2020 Presidential election put the issue of voting rights and access front-and-center. As conservatives tried to restrict access to polling stations, mail in ballots, and contested ballot validity, progressive groups and legislators–often aligning with principles of reproductive health, rights, and justice–sought to ensure the United States democracy stood firm, recognizing that the overwhelming majority of votes that were in question were largely Black and Brown voters.

The reproductive health, rights, and justice movement cannot stay silent in this moment. We know that reproductive freedom and voting rights and access are intrinsically linked. Equitable access to the vote means better representation of our communities and responsiveness to our basic needs like comprehensive healthcare, including contraception, maternal care, abortion care, and comprehensive sex education. Moreover, equitable access to the ballot box allows us to focus on justice and liberation, which increases bodily autonomy and integrity for many marginalized communities especially Black and Brown people, young people, and queer, transgender, and nonbinary people.

Voting is the powerful weapon communities across this country have when it comes to protecting rights to control our bodies. Barriers to restrict voting access are systematically used to target the same people who would be most affected by anti-abortion laws and attacks on sexual and reproductive health care — Black and Brown communities, immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, people with low incomes, people with disabilities, and young people.

Make no mistake: these voting restrictions are intended to target the same Black and Brown communities that turned out in record numbers throughout the United States, especially in the South and Midwest. Anti-abortion legislators in Georgia, for example, passed a measure to strip away Georgia’s Secretary of State election oversight in favor of increased conservative, legislative oversight. It also creates new barriers to voting by adding new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, permanently reduces access to ballot drop boxes, and criminalizes the practice of “line warming,” in which volunteers hand out food and water to voters standing in long lines, among others. These actions are designed to disproportionately impact BIPOC voters.

In 2020, Black women-led organizations mobilized communities for equitable access to the ballot box by enacting many of the same tactics conservatives are now attempting to attack. It is no surprise that Black women, queer, transgender, and nonbinary people also experience some of the greatest attacks to abortion access in the South.

But the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement will continue fighting to ensure bodily autonomy is protected for marginalized communities, and that includes the right to vote.


State Innovation Exchange (SiX) 

URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity


State Legislators

Alaska Representative Geran Tarr

Arizona Representative Raquel A. Terán

Arizona Representative Athena Salman

Arizona Senator Juan Mendez

California Assemblymember David Chiu

Colorado Representative Susan Lontine

Colorado Representative Brianna Titone

Colorado Senator Julie Gonzales

Colorado Senator Brittany Pettersen

Colorado Representative Leslie Herod

Connecticut Representative Jillian Gilchrest

Connecticut Representative Kate Farrar

Delaware Senator Elizabeth Lockman

Delaware Representative Larry Lambert

Georgia Representative Park Cannon

Illinois Representative Will Guzzardi

Iowa Representative Liz Bennett

Kentucky Representative Attica Scott

Kansas Senator Mary Ware

Louisiana Representative Aimee Adatto Freeman

Maine  Representative Charlotte Warren

Maine Representative Amy Roeder

Maine Representative Vicki Doudera

Michigan Senator Erika Geiss

Minnesota Senator Scott Dibble

New Hampshire Representative Lee Walker Oxenham

North Carolina Representative Julie von Haefen

Pennsylvania Representative Joe Hohenstein

Pennsylvania Representative Chris Rabb

Pennsylvania Senator Katie Muth

Pennsylvania Representative Mary Jo Daley

Pennsylvania Representative Dan Frankel

Virginia Delegate Kaye Kory

Wisconsin Representative Lisa Subeck

Wisconsin Representative Jonathan Brostoff

Wisconsin Senator Jeff Smith


National and State Organizations

A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro

A Woman’s Choice of Charlotte 

A Woman’s Choice of Raleigh

A Woman’s Choice of Jacksonville

Abortion Care Network

Advocates for Youth


All* Above All Action Fund

American Association of University Women

American Atheists


Arizona Center for Women’s Advancement (ACWA)

Asian Pacific Community in Action

Athlete Ally


AZ AANHPI for Equity

Black Feminist Future

Bolder Learning

Camelback Family Planning

Catholics for Choice

Center for Biological Diversity

CHANGE (Center for Health and Gender Equity)

Civil Liberties and Public Policy

Clean Elections Texas

Cobalt Advocates

Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity & Reproductive Rights (COLOR)



Desert Star Family Planning

Feminist Women’s Health Center


Florida National Organization of Women

Gender Justice

Global Justice Center

Guttmacher Institute


Hope Clinic for Women

If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda

Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice (IVRJ)

International Women’s Health Coalition


Jane’s Due Process

Keep Abortion Safe

Kentucky Reproductive Freedom Fund

Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice Virginia

Latina Institute New York

Lawyering Project

Legal Voice

Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom

Medical Students for Choice

Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH)

Mutual Aid Midlands

NARAL Pro-Choice America

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut

NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts

NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri

NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada

NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina

NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

National Association of Social Workers

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Council of Jewish Women

National Council of Jewish Women Arizona

National Health Law Program

National Institute for Reproductive Health

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice

National Organization for Women

National Partnership for Women & Families

National Women’s Law Center Action Fund

National Women’s Health Network

NEO Philanthropy

New Orleans Abortion Fund

New Voices for Reproductive Justice

Our Bodies Ourselves

Our Justice

Patient Forward

People For the American Way

Physicians for Reproductive Health

Plan C

Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona

Population Institute

Positive Women’s Network-USA


Pro-Choice Arizona / Abortion Fund of Arizona

Progress Florida

Progress Now Colorado

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Reproductive Health Access Project

Retired Public Health Social Worker


Secular Coalition for AZ


SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change

SisterSong: National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, Inc.

Speaking of Birth

State Innovation Exchange

Step Forward Strategies

SY Consulting

Teen Health Mississippi

The Feminist Wire

The Ford & Ford Group

The TRIAD Trust

The Women’s Centers

The Womxn Project

Thembi Anaiya LLC


UnRestrict Minnesota

URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity

We Are Family

We Testify

Whole Woman’s Health Alliance

Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health

WOCSHN (Women of Color Sexual Health Network)

Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network

Woodhull Freedom Foundation


WV FREE Action Fund