In 2012, Latinas are Watching
When political candidates think about Latinos and abortion they probably think: Catholic, conservative, opposed to abortion. It looks like they are seriously mistaken.
A new survey released earlier this week clearly showed that a majority of Latino voters support access to legal abortion, and would offer support to a close friend or family member who had an abortion.
In fact, nearly 75 percent of Latino voters agree that a woman has a right to make her own personal, private decisions about abortion without politicians interfering. That’s three-quarters! This finding is critically important, but the research went even deeper than that. It showed that Latinos don’t believe that we should judge women’s decisions about when and whether to become a parent, and that Latinos are even willing to disagree with church leaders about the importance of access to safe abortion care.
As a Latina, I strongly believe that a woman must be able to make medical decisions in consultation with her doctor and those she respects and trusts. This research confirms what I’ve always felt in my heart and mind.
But now it’s not only abortion rights that Latinas have on their minds, but all aspects of women’s health care, which has been seriously threatened this past year. The same politicians who promised to focus on jobs and the economy have instead spent their time trying to restrict women’s access to lifesaving health care. These efforts directly impact Latinas, a growing population in need of high-quality, affordable reproductive health care.
But Latinas are also a growing and increasingly important voice in elections. In fact, the potential of Latinas as a voting bloc has never been greater. The number of eligible Latinas voting has increased by one million since 2008!
When it comes to elections, Latinas are a force to be reckoned with, and with enhanced voter registration, education, and engagement efforts, we will make an even bigger difference in upcoming elections. In Florida, site of the next Presidential primary there are 2.1 million eligible Latino voters, 1.1 million of whom are women.
That’s why on January 26, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund is launching Latinas are Watching, a campaign to educate, engage, and activate Latina voters across the country for the 2012 elections, with a debate-watching party in Florida. We’ll be watching the Republican presidential candidates go at it during this CNN and CNN en Español-sponsored debate. So stay tuned.
¡Miramos, escuchamos y votamos!
Latinas are Watching ─ ¡Ojo!
To learn more about what Roe v. Wade means for Latinas, check out this piece for NBC Latino.