Election 2022: In the "Vote With Pride" Video Series, GLAAD Talks Abortion Access with Planned Parenthood

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November 3, 2022

GLAAD's "Vote with Pride" video series rolls on with conversations between LGBTQ leaders and allies for equality, discussing critically important issues for LGBTQ voters.

Abortion is an LGBTQ issue and restoring rights to reproductive care is top of mind for LGBTQ and ally voters in the midterm elections.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • A 2019 study found that bisexual women were three times more likely than heterosexual women to have had an abortion. 
  • Many states with abortion bans are also targeting trans youth healthcare, despite the fact that gender-affirming care is supported by every major medical association.
  • Officials in Alabama cited the Dobbs decision overturning Roe's protections for abortion access to justify the state’s ban making it a felony to provide gender-affirming care.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis talked with Alexis McGill Johnson, President of Planned Parenthood, discussing how abortion rights are among the freedoms at risk and how that’s driving voters from all backgrounds to the polls.

VIEW/EMBED THE VIDEO HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vw6BkeP-9g

“We've seen an increase of young people, millennials, people of color, women, LGBTQ communities registering to vote en masse as unprecedented as the (Dobbs) decision,” McGill Johnson said.

“People will see the polls, they'll see how tight it is, but we have to give more validity that people are fired up, and enraged, and help channel that into action on Election Day," McGill Johnson continued. "All things we care about, our identities, how we express ourselves, these freedoms are tied together across communities, we have to make sure those freedoms are realized.”

Abortion is a key issue in battleground states like Georgia that will decide whether the pro-equality majority remains in power in Congress, and whether a federal ban on abortion is proposed and passed.

A poll last month shows a majority of Georgians – particularly Black voters – continue to oppose the state’s new restrictive abortion law. Nearly 62% overall object to the new law, with 54% strongly opposed. Among Black respondents, 86% said they firmly disapprove.

“Freedom is at stake, freedom for our ability to control our own bodies, to be our free authentic selves, our ability to participate in our democracy,” said McGill Johnson.

“Since the decision in Dobbs came down I've been seeing the impact on women, on trans and nonbinary folks taking incredibly arduous abortion journeys just to seek access they should be able to have in their own states," McGill Johnson continued. "And some of those states are also coming for the trans community. They're coming for our voting rights. It's all intersectional, it's all together and that is all on the line right now.”

McGill Johnson and Ellis discussed how legal protections and some elected officials are out of step with widespread support for abortion rights and LGBTQ rights in the culture.

“What I'm seeing now in the culture is that what people feel, and what they see and support in the culture, is not being represented by the politicians, it's actually being unwound,” Ellis said.

“They're trying to create a counter-culture against our communities. And so you're seeing that at the state level. Even the attack on Pelosi's husband and that being used to undermine the LGBTQ community and target us out of nowhere. We continue to be used as fodder in the political game of football that's happening. We thought we had moved past that with marriage equality, that we would be seen as equal, and it's simply not true.”

McGill Johnson noted GLAAD’s work in advancing accurate LGBTQ stories in the media and said sharing stories remains a vital way to accelerate change including in the fight for reproductive justice.

“A lot of what we are seeing as well in the reproductive rights and freedom space, people are talking about the barriers they're facing now,” McGill Johnson said.

“They're talking about the journeys to get access to abortion care out of state. They're talking about the impact of not being seen if they're nonbinary or trans in this fight...  It's really important for us to think about all the ways that we can tell our stories because that also helps us shift culture and you can't deny when someone shares who they are and how important it is to be seen and recognized.”

Polls and analysis often show abortion and the economy as an either-or choice for voters’ top concerns. In reality, the issues are deeply connected. Freedom to make healthcare decisions affects an entire family’s financial stability including:

  • A parent's current and future earnings, especially parents who are out of the workforce after childbirth or to care for small children.
  • In the 27 states with a current abortion ban, none guarantee paid family and medical leave.
  • 18 states have gender wage gaps above the national average.
  • 22 have poverty rates for women above the national average.
  • 17 have poverty rates for children above the national average.

More intersections: states that passed extremely restrictive abortion bans have also restricted voting access, including Georgia, which passed two new voting laws that restrict access to drop boxes in counties that use them the most, which also have the highest number of Black and Latine voters, according to an analysis by NPR, WABE and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Sarah Kate Ellis: “I always find it interesting when people say: if your vote didn't matter, why are they trying to take it away from you?”

Alexis McGill Johnson: “That is the truth! That’s a method of disinformation, they want you to not participate and to demoralize you. We know we can stand firmly in the power.”

GLAAD’s “Vote with Pride” video series includes:

  • Actor, activist and producer Wilson Cruz with Voto Latino’s President and CEO María Teresa Kumar about the power of the LGBTQ and Latine vote. VIEW/EMBED LINK HERE: https://youtu.be/wTa0nBHfVt4 
  • GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis with Family Equality CEO Stacey Stevenson about threats to LGBTQ and ally families, why she decided to move her family out of Texas because of the hostile climate to LGBTQ people, and how voters must speak up to protect marriage equality after Roe was overturned and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for landmark LGBTQ rulings like Obergefell to be reconsidered. VIEW/EMBED LINK HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPx9uIRG0cg&t=3s

Additional research:

  • 9 million LGBTQ adults are registered to vote
  • LGBTQ voters are expected to be 14% of the eligible voting population by 2030, according to a recent analysis of population data. 
  • A GLAAD poll of Florida LGBTQ and ally voters shows their top issues include restoring abortion access (47%), gun safety reform (31%), housing costs (22%), inflation (22%), and LGBTQ equality (19%).
  • Abortion is an LGBTQ issue: A 2019 study found that bisexual women were three times more likely than heterosexual women to have had an abortion. 
  • Restricting abortion impacts a company's ability to recruit top talent in states with restrictive laws, as Eli Lilly warned when a restrictive ban was passed in Indiana.

    About Planned Parenthood Action Fund
    Planned Parenthood was founded over 100 years ago on the revolutionary idea that women have the right to access the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives. Today, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) fights to protect that right — often in the face of extreme politicians trying to take it away.