If, like me, you delighted shamelessly in last week’s epic GOP melt-down at the tiny hands of Donald Trump, or if you raised-up your normal-sized hands in celebration at the overturn of discriminatory voter laws in North Carolina and Wisconsin, then Planned Parenthood’s new voter registration campaign should ignite a small spark of joy in the pit of your commie bleeding-heart.
Last Friday, Planned Parenthood announced that it will soon begin offering voter registration services in 45 states through its new program, “My Vote, My Voice.” Center volunteers will assemble and man “action” tables outside Planned Parenthood clinics and in colleges where they’ll provide education about state voting laws, assist with registration, and remind people to vote as the election nears.
Efforts are aimed at registering voters “regardless of their background, beliefs, or political ideology,” but the program is specifically designed to reach frequently disenfranchised populations by leveraging access to the 2.5 million patients served by Planned Parenthood annually. According to reports issued by Planned Parenthood, nearly 78 percent of the organization’s patients earn incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level and nearly one-quarter are Latino. Erin Carhart, manager of youth organizing at Planned Parenthood explains:
Our purpose is to engage historically disenfranchised communities. Our hope is to encourage folks to participate in democracy.
While the program itself is nonpartisan, it will likely register young, low-income and minority voters—a demographic that tends to vote with Democrats, but also the very same demographic that is disproportionately affected by voter suppression laws. Planned Parenthood spokesperson Anna Keene gets it right:
If we can’t all participate in our government, we all get cheated. We’re launching the ‘My Vote, My Voice’ campaign to help ensure that every voice is heard and every vote is counted in communities across the country. No matter what your political beliefs are, if you don’t or can’t vote, then you can’t elect officials who will keep your interests in mind.
Planned Parenthood has enthusiastically endorsed Hillary Clinton for holding “the strongest record on reproductive rights of all presidential contenders in not just this election, but in American history.” Clinton’s interest in the rights and well-being of women stands in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s pathetic, wind-baggery about how he “cherishes women“—ew!— despite the fact that the only women who seem to love him back are Ivanka, perhaps Melania, and maybe the fifteen or sixteen women who showed up to the “Women for Trump” event at the Republican National Convention. Sad Donald!
“Cherish,” my ass.
At stake for everyone this election cycle are healthcare, the economy and the environment, but with Trump’s Vice-Presidential selection of rabidly anti-choice Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who has already vowed to “see Roe vs. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs,” the stakes are especially high for women.
Not on my watch, Pence!
And not on Planned Parenthood’s.
The push for voter registration and last week’s strike-down of voter suppression laws represent a win for women, minorities and for the voting rights of everyone. Indeed, it’s been a good week for democracy, and it’s my hope that this heartening news from Planned Parenthood will keep our spirits buoyed while we await the next opportunity to get back to the business of mocking and LOL’ing at The Donald …
… probably sometime later today.
Sometimes, not everything is awful.
OH… and register to vote through Planned Parenthood here.
Featured image via flickr.com