Home Opinion OPINION: Democrats Discuss ー Why Planned Parenthood endorsements matter

OPINION: Democrats Discuss ー Why Planned Parenthood endorsements matter

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Mady Nutter is the Ohio University College Democrats political director. She is a sophomore studying strategic communications with a minor in public health. The following article reflects the opinion and views of the author and does not present the thoughts of the Ohio University College Democrats. 

This is a submitted column, and please note that these views and opinions do not reflect those of The New Political. 

On Sept. 24, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio announced its endorsements for candidates running in municipal elections this year. This is the first time that this has happened. In Athens, Mayor Steve Patterson, City Councilman Peter Kotses and Beth Clodfelter received endorsements.

In a local election year, it is imperative that people truly know the candidates that they are voting for. With an endorsement from Planned Parenthood, voters can easily discern which candidates will support the health and well-being of their constituents.

Planned Parenthood has been a champion of reproductive rights for over 100 years. Throughout their fight for justice, this organization has grown to be vocal advocates and crucial supporters of women’s rights, people of color, the LBGTQ community and those of lower socioeconomic status.

One of Planned Parenthood’s recent campaigns was centered around the slogan, “Care. No matter what.” I see this statement as a promise, just as I see Planned Parenthood’s endorsements as a promise to voters. No matter who you are, how you identify or where you come from, these candidates believe you are deserving of fundamental reproductive healthcare.

Being one of the leading healthcare providers in the country and the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood has been under siege from state and federal leaders trying to limit or outright eliminate access to reproductive healthcare, including safe and legal abortion, and comprehensive sexual health education.

 For anyone who has a reproductive system, these actions are intolerable, particularly in Ohio.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 23 into law on April 11, enacting the prohibition of abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable. While a federal judge has temporarily blocked this law, the fact that our state officials even proposed this kind of legislation is alarming, to say the least.

Legislation like this is neither new nor unique in terms of attacks on reproductive rights. This year alone, Planned Parenthood has lost its federal funding through Title X, as well as state funding through the Ohio Department of Health. The effects of these restrictions have already shown in Cincinnati, where two health centers could no longer afford to stay open last month.

These attacks on Planned Parenthood are attacks on the reproductive freedom of all Ohioans. In times like these, we need all leaders — especially municipal leaders — to be dedicated to protecting our bodily autonomy and promoting comprehensive sex education.

Even at the local level, reproductive justice is incredibly important. The only Planned Parenthood health center in southeastern Ohio is in Athens. We need leaders that will support and defend a resource that is precious not only to our city but to our region.

In a time of political tumult, guidance from such an upstanding organization matters now more than ever. People’s rights are at stake, and if we fail to elect those who are at the forefront of protecting them, we risk the loss of our most intimate freedoms. 

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