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Women’s rights leaders came together Tuesday to urge women to vote on November 2 to ensure that access to abortion and family planning stay intact. In Beverly Hills, a press conference at the Feminist Majority building was attended by more than 25 local women leaders and elected officials.
Speakers took turns claiming Meg Whitman, running for governor, and Carly Fiorina, who is running for U.S. senator, have made it clear that women’s rights are not a priority.
Simultaneous press conferences were held in San Francisco and Sacramento, also calling for women to vote for candidates who are unequivocal in their support for women.
Kathy Kneer, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has endorsed Fiorina. Kneer added that Fiorina said at a recent debate, if given the opportunity, would vote to overturn the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.
“Fiorina is off-the-charts extreme,” Kneer said. “It’s important for the public to know that overturning Roe would make criminals out of women who have abortions and the doctors who perform them.”
Kneer added that Whitman has been silent on issues important to women such as protecting funding for family planning services.
This year is also the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel said women have to be reminded of a time when there weren’t any choices.
“Who would have thought we would have women candidates who didn’t fight for those who don’t have a voice?” Greuel said. “We don’t want to go back, we want to move forward.”
Voting in this mid-term election is crucial to ensure California women continue to have access to abortion and family planning, as well as pay equity, women’s rights in the workplace and equal marriage rights, said Los Angeles City Councilmember Jan Perry, 9th District.
“We have to mobilize our sisters, our mothers, our friends to fight for safe reproductive health,” Perry said.
Several college students were also in attendance, representing Pro-Choice Students for Sen. Barbara Boxer.
“This is the number one issue for young women,” said Miranda Peterson, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles.
West Hollywood City Councilmembers Lindsey Horvath and Abbe Land also spoke.
“We want to make sure women know about the issues at stake,” Land said.
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