Protect reproductive rights this election | Editorial

The despair that haunted me for weeks after Roe V. Wade was overturned has not dissipated.

Instead of debilitating sadness, it’s now a constant hum of “you are a woman and you don’t matter to your country.”

This November, reproductive health rights are a key issue in mid-term elections across the nation. This year, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested.

According to Reuters, “Democrats could lose control of both chambers of Congress. Recent polls have shown Democrats who once had comfortable leads in some Senate races on a knife’s edge, and Senate elections that were considered toss-ups between the two parties now leaning Republican as high inflation persists. … Losing control of one or both houses of Congress will profoundly shape the next two years of Joe Biden’s presidency, with Republicans expected to block legislation on family leave, abortion, policing and other Biden priorities while pushing new laws to curb immigration and spending, using the debt ceiling as leverage.”

According to Planned Parenthood, the overturning of the historic Supreme Court case has inspired surges in voter registration and political participation from pro-abortion rights voters across the country, including a 55 percent increase in female voters. Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates issued the following statement.

If Washingtonians want their rights to be protected after the midterm election, these are the candidates that need to win:

Dr. Kim Schrier (D): Dr. Schrier’s experience as a physician means she understands the challenges people in Washington face when trying to access the health care they need. Those patients, and all people in Washington, need a champion like Dr. Schrier to keep fighting for their access to care. When it comes to women’s healthcare, reproductive rights, and children’s health, Dr. Kim Schrier is a critical voice.

Patty Murray (D): Time and time again, Senator Murray has proven herself to be the strongest and most steadfast fighter for reproductive rights in the U.S. Senate. She has championed critical protections for family planning funding, defended against relentless attacks on abortion rights, and shown strong and visionary leadership for our state.

Emily Randall (D): Randall is among the Legislature’s biggest champions of abortion rights, especially when compared to her extremist opponent on the topic. At the Legislature, she has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation improving equitable access to health care for all Washingtonians.

Claudia Kauffman (D): Kauffman has committed to upholding progressive values such as the essential right to an abortion. She understands having access to abortion, birth control and health care information means more choices, economic security and opportunities for the future.

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D): As a Latina woman, a fifth-generation Washingtonian, a small business owner, and a mother, Marie has made access to abortion care and support for working women cornerstones of her campaign. She will fight to ensure that all people have access to the reproductive health care they need and will defend her district against a dangerous and extremist opponent who seeks to divide communities.

“Your right to control your own body is on the ballot this November. Together, we have the power to elect reproductive health care champions who will unapologetically protect and advocate for safe, legal abortion,” said Courtney Normand, Washington State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “If not, we will allow candidates who oppose our rights to endanger our lives and criminalize essential health care.”

The impact of the situation extends far beyond a woman’s right to choose. Those against protecting reproductive health rights may try to disassemble other constitutional rights like marriage equality. This is a human rights issue. The government should not be permitted to interfere with our personal liberties.