The 2010 election was a mixed result for Latinas and reproductive health, but one strong message came through: Latino/a’s are a powerful and active voting bloc, by some estimates Latino turnout could be as high as 60 percent. Particularly in the Western half of the country, Latino/a turnout made a big difference:
- California, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona: Latino/as are credited with tipping the scales in favor of the key races that preserve hard-fought gains for reproductive health and justice, including U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer in California and Michael Bennett in Colorado, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, and Congressmember Raul Grijalva (AZ-7). Despite Reid’s lukewarm support for reproductive health issues, his role as Senate leader has opened many opportunities to advance a positive reproductive health agenda and he has been an advocate for advancing positive policy solutions on immigration.
- Colorado Ballot Initiative: The only statewide ballot initiative on access to reproductive health was defeated in Colorado. Voters, including Latinos, rejected the “Personhood Amendment” which would have limited or banned abortion access and would ban the most common forms of birth control, including the pill.
In the aftermath of the election, the National Latina Institute will focus on saving the landmark health care law which will cover an estimated 9 million Latinos and increase funding for community health centers – a lifeline to many in our neighborhoods. Though many new House leaders have promised to take aim at the law, with a supportive stronghold elected in California and other allies nationwide, opportunities exist to continue reform focused on those most in need.
House Republicans have indicated their intent to drastically limit access and affordability of abortions by blocking abortion coverage in insurance plans. NLIRH will continue to work to protect existing coverage and push for public funding so that abortion can remain a safe, affordable option for Latinas.
Read more about the wins and losses from this election here.