In midterm elections, women’s votes will decide our future


In case anyone has forgotten, women are the most powerful voting bloc in America. We have the power and we will determine the future of this country on Election Day.

Our democracy, our economy and our communities rise (or fall) on the backs of women who have demanded equality for generations. In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, women on the front lines kept this country going, and though many of our lived experiences were unseen, we turned out in record numbers in 2020 to put leaders – including many women leaders – into positions of political power. 

We have made progress: We elected the first female vice president. Because of our continued pressure, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson now sits on the Supreme Court – the first Black woman to ever hold the position. Twelve women hold cabinet-level positions. And state legislatures across the country are protecting the freedom to vote, defending abortion access, and upholding other women’s rights, all because of the tireless work of women.

But there have also been devastating setbacks: This summer we all watched the Supreme Court dismiss 49 years of law and overturn the constitutional right to abortion, which some 80% of Americans support. 

BIDEN VOWS TO CODIFY ABORTION RIGHTS IF DEMOCRATS MAINTAIN CONTROL: ‘WE CAN DO THIS’

Women have to stay engaged. We have to vote, up and down the ballot, in every single election, because each election is essential to maintaining the rights and freedoms that have been earned. And this year is no exception.

In states across the country, our lives and freedoms are literally on the ballot. The governors, attorneys general and state legislators we elect into office in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and so many other states will be able to safeguard (or restrict) our freedoms. 

These leaders will be critical as the issues that matter most to women and our families – such as affordable, quality housing; health care; child care; the right to make our own decisions about our own bodies; and straightforward gun violence prevention – continue to be debated in the halls of power. Some, like Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, have demonstrated their commitment to the values important to women and their families. Others have not, and others still have shown a blatant disregard for women.

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In November, we have the power to vote for elected leaders who will fight alongside us to expand and protect our freedoms and to vote out those who don’t. Voting is by no means the only way, but it’s one of the most basic and effective ways to demonstrate our collective demands and hopes.

We are all tired. We are all angry. These endless battles have left many of us feeling rattled and hopeless. But that is exactly what extremist politicians want, for us to give up. 

We believe in the strength and resolve of women. We will vote like our lives and our bodies and our families depend on it, because they do. Politicians who fail to support women and seek to restrict our rights, we are putting you on notice: Your days in public office are numbered. We refuse to go backward, and we’re voting.

Laphonza Butler is the president of EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics. The mission of EMILY’s List is to elect Democratic pro-choice women to office. 

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Women are the most powerful voting bloc in the nation, and we have the power and the determination to shape the future of this country on Election Day.

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