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Women’s Equality Day is the anniversary of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which gave American women the right to vote.

While the 19th Amendment was a landmark achievement for many white women in this country, women of color, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and people who speak English as a second language or not at all were routinely denied their right to vote — and many still face voting barriers today.

In addition to gaining the right to vote, access to birth control has played a huge role in women’s equality by expanding economic and educational opportunities and improving health outcomes for women. For many women, it’s hard to imagine that just over 50 years ago, birth control was not just inaccessible, but illegal. 

Birth control has had a dramatic impact on women and families in this country — allowing women to invest in their futures and their careers, and giving them time to plan their families. Birth control has also emphatically improved the ability of women to participate in the U.S. economy. We're at a historic low in teen pregnancy, and a 30-year low in unintended pregnancies — which researchers have attributed in part to the increase in access, especially to highly effective methods of birth control.

Planned Parenthood believes that every woman should have easy access to the birth control of their choice. Women’s voices should be heard and every vote should be counted in communities across the country, no matter a woman’s background.

We can only lift up the importance of women by lifting up all women.

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