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Women's Equality Day and #RightsAtRisk Twitter Town Hall on August 26

Women's Equality Day on August 26, 2016

#RightsAtRisk Twitter Town Hall

On Women's Equality Day, August 26th from 3-4 p.m. PST, @PPBlackComm and @PPact are hosting #RightsAtRisk, a Twitter Town Hall on the intersections of voting rights and reproductive rights to illuminate how these two critical issues inform each other.

Background

While the 19th Amendment was a landmark achievement for many white women in this country,  women of color, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and people who speak English as a second language or not at all were routinely denied their right to vote – and many still face barriers to voting today.

More than a dozen states have enacted voter suppression laws since 2013. These laws take many forms — from requiring photo IDs to vote, cutting back on early voting, eliminating same-day registration, and more — but they are all part of the same concerted effort to strip Americans of their rights.

Just recently, courts in North Carolina and North Dakota struck down discriminatory voter ID laws. It is critical that we prioritize the fight for voting rights - everyone should have the right to vote, no matter their political beliefs, and no matter their background.

Planned Parenthood health centers see 2.5 million patients annually. Many of these people are young voters, people of color, immigrants, and people with low-incomes  – those who face hurdles when trying to participate in the political process because of discriminatory voter suppression laws.

Voting is a fundamental part of democracy, and voting rights continue to be challenged by various voter ID laws across the country. Exercising our right to vote is one of the most tangible ways to ensure all voices are heard and equity is upheld. Voting is not only a fundamental right; it's necessary to ensure our democracy. Voting is a form of agency, and it reflects your personal values. It's also a mechanism to transform your community, and vote on the issues that matter to you most.

Voting is not just a political act; it's a personal one, too. There are many issues at stake in this election, including women’s health, economic justice, and immigration reform, just to name a few. It is important to learn about the candidates and their policies. Voting for the candidate who best suits your values is the best way to ensure the issues within your community are adequately addressed, whatever your beliefs may be.

As the largest and most diverse electorate prepares to vote in this election, it's our responsibility to help ensure that all voices are heard – and that communities that have been traditionally underrepresented, marginalized, and discriminated against have a mechanism to have their voices heard as well.

To register to vote in California, use this Voter Registration Form through California Planned Parenthood Education Fund, Inc.

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