Here’s why Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson urges Americans to show up to the polls on Nov. 8 for the U.S. midterm elections: “It's an incredibly terrifying time.”
ALEXIS MCGILL JOHNSON: We're all scared in this moment. It's an incredibly terrifying time. We have had a right to control our bodies for 50 years. And that right was just stripped away by the Supreme Court. So I know you're scared about what that means about your future. And I'm here to say you can actually make your own future.
I'm Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. I'm with "In the Know" at the MAKERS Conference.
So I was born in 1972. I grew up my entire life-- 50 years-- knowing that I had a right to control my own body.
And now that Roe has been overturned, now that I have daughters who are 13 and 10, it's insane to me that they are going to grow up with fewer rights than I have had. 18 states have banned access to abortion, largely in the south and in the midwest. We anticipate that number going to 25 in the coming year.
The impact is that now people have to travel, on average, 400 miles out of state just to get access to care. That requires travel money. It requires hotel money. It requires child care, because so many people who are seeking access to abortion are already parents. And it requires the ability to take off time from work. And so for those people who have less resources, it means that it may become out of their reach.
We have seen a number of other bills being introduced banning access to things like emergency contraception, Plan B. We have seen laws being introduced around IVF. And so we need to be very concerned that this decision wasn't just about accessing abortion. It was about accessing all freedoms related to our ability to protect our rights to privacy.
Planned Parenthood is fighting back. We are litigating in every single state that introduces a ban. But we can't fight back without you. So if you want to get engaged, now is the time to get involved in a local organization that supports reproductive rights, health, and justice. Donate if you can. Help someone who needs access to abortion.
You can write your lawmaker. You can ask your company what they are doing to help people get access to abortion if they are in a banned state. There are so many ways to get involved. You just have to start from where you are sitting right now.
November 8 is Election Day. Up and down the ballot, abortion is on the line. Whether you are voting for an attorney general, a state lawmaker, a governor, a senator, a member of Congress, each of them has power to decide whether or not you have access to abortion in your own state. So it is so important for you to not only vote yourself, but make sure you call everyone you possibly know and make sure that they are also turning out on this issue.