Equal Rights Advocates Hails Democracy in Action on Key Gender Justice Issues in Midterm Elections
November 9. 2022
For Immediate Release
Nov 9, 2022
Statement from Noreen Farrell, Executive Director at Equal Rights Advocates, which fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools across the country
Nov. 9, 2022 — Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) hails voters across the country who came out in force in midterm elections that will be determinative of key gender justice policies. Heading into these elections, voters demanded a plan of all candidates on reproductive rights, equal pay, affordable childcare, and debt relief. Equal Rights Advocates calls on all midterm winners to deliver on their election promises to improve the lives of millions of women and families across the country.
Voters in key states turned out to defend reproductive freedoms expressly including abortion. On the heels of a decisive statewide vote in August in favor of abortion rights in traditionally conservative Kansas, midterm voters have enshrined the right to abortion in the state constitutions of California, Vermont, and Michigan. With the majority of votes counted, it appears likely that voters in Kentucky and Montana have rejected ballot efforts to ban and/or limit abortion access. This should send an important message to Congressional winners from conservative states intent on a federal abortion ban. Most Americans – across political parties – agree that abortion should be a decision between a pregnant person and their doctor – not in the hands of politicians.
With an even further divided government following the midterm elections, we have a difficult battle ahead of us and must use every possible avenue to fight for the progressive action that so many Americans desperately need.
As is clear from state ballot outcomes on reproductive choice, state action will play a key role in 2023. We applaud the success of key ballot initiatives in the states to improve voting rights, like Michigan’s Proposal 22-2. Significant changes in the composition of legislatures in states like Michigan and Minnesota open state doors for previously blocked policies supporting women and families. Especially if Congress stalemates, we urge invigorated efforts at the state level to protect reproductive freedoms, raise the minimum wage and abolish the subminimum wage for tipped workers, expand access to affordable childcare, and address gender-based violence and workplace discrimination.
Even with a divided Congress, there are issues, such as the child tax credit, where lawmakers can and should agree to move forward. Middle-class families in every community want to provide a solid future for their kids and grandkids. They cannot afford right-wing reactionary policies and moderates’ hesitation to get in the way of helping them. Further, it’s more important than ever that the Biden Administration continue using executive orders to push on priorities that large majorities of Americans support, including equal pay, the economic security of workers across the country, abortion access, and voting rights.
Further, we must not forget what has already been accomplished in President Biden’s term, even without decisive progressive majorities in Congress. The confirmation of Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson and the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act are among these successful efforts. The time is right for continued progress and collaboration. Midterm voters ushered historic wins across the country by female, openly gay, and black candidates, and the first member of Generation Z to the House of Representatives. Newly represented communities will expect policies aligned with their values. We call on elected officials to continue to work across the aisle on common sense policies supporting Americans across the country, defending constitutional and civil rights, and protecting our democratic process.
Noreen Farrell is available for interviews upon request, contact Paulina Campos at [email protected] or 650-455-9928.
About Equal Rights Advocates
Equal Rights Advocates fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools across the country. Since 1974, they have been fighting on the front lines of social justice to protect and advance rights and opportunities for women, girls, and people of all gender identities through groundbreaking legal cases and bold legislation that sets the stage for the rest of the nation.