Our advocacy campaign, #Fight4HER, spotlights the damage that Trump’s cruel Global Gag Rule inflicts upon reproductive health programs around the world. We’re seeking to smash all barriers preventing people from accessing modern contraceptives and reproductive health care. Since launching #Fight4HER Arizona in early 2017, we have worked with full-time organizers, student activists, and communities across the state to advocate for reproductive rights for all. To date, volunteers have collected over 7,700 petitions from Arizonans committed to ending the Global Gag Rule.
Throughout the last three years, our Arizona activists and students have hosted events, presentations, informational sessions, advocacy trainings, and petition drops. Arizona’s #Fight4HER campaign has developed important partnerships in the community with Planned Parenthood Arizona, NARAL, Abortion Fund of Arizona, and Planned Parenthood Generation Action at ASU. Additionally, we have worked to raise awareness by participating in community events such as Phoenix Pride, Rainbows Festival, and many more.
To date, the #Fight4HER campaign has hosted two successful Summer of HER programs, a summer-long activist institute that trains fellows on grassroots organizing skills. Each year the institute culminates in an annual Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Summit. In September 2019, #Fight4HER Arizona hosted HER Summits in both Phoenix and Tucson. The summits brought together over 130 community members for a day of learning grassroots organizing skills, hearing from community leaders about defending reproductive rights, and preparing to get out the vote. Speakers included U.S. Reps. Ruben Gallego and Ann Kirkpatrick, and State Reps. Athena Salman and Raquel Teran. In 2020, we are hosting our first digital Summer of HER program, with fellows from all over Arizona working remotely to collect petitions, organize, and get out the vote for Population Connection Action Fund-endorsed candidates.
Grassroots activism is an essential part of the fight for access to reproductive health care. Our team in Arizona works to mobilize and put pressure on legislators to uphold the reproductive rights of people everywhere. In 2018, #Fight4HER Arizona fellows dropped over 1,000 petitions at Sen. Jeff Flake’s office demanding he condemn the Global Gag Rule before he left office. Furthermore, in May 2020, we partnered with NextGen America to demand Sen. Martha McSally support the Global HER Act. Participants made over 100 calls to her D.C., Phoenix, and Tucson offices, ultimately crashing her Tucson phone system.
While holding opponents like Sen. McSally accountable, our local organizers have also cultivated relationships with lawmakers on both the state and federal level, including State Reps. Athena Salman and Raquel Teran, U.S. Reps. Ruben Gallego, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Greg Stanton, and U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. In April 2019, we dropped off over 1,000 petitions to Rep. Greg Stanton’s office, thanking him for signing onto the Global HER Act. We will continue to work with our elected representatives to demand action and accountability for removing barriers to reproductive health care access and investing U.S. funds into international family planning programs.
During the 2018 election season, #Fight4HER Arizona helped candidates up and down the ballot. In October and early November of 2018, #Fight4HER Arizona turned out volunteers for Get Out the Vote (GOTV) activities throughout the state. We recruited volunteers to canvass and phone bank for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema, who we proudly endorsed. Ultimately, our organizers and volunteers knocked on over 2,000 doors to help elect Kyrsten Sinema to the Senate.
During this critical election year, we are working hard to elect candidates who will #Fight4HER. So far, Population Connection Action Fund has endorsed U.S. Reps. Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-2), and Greg Stanton (AZ-9). Additionally, our Arizona team met with Senate candidate Mark Kelly and Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords to talk about the importance of prioritizing reproductive health access around the world.
When we advance access to reproductive health care, we improve people’s lives—and we improve humanity’s chance for a sustainable future on a livable planet. When we address the unmet need for family planning of the 214 million women in the developing world who want to prevent pregnancy but aren’t using modern contraception, we can slow global population growth and improve people’s health and well-being. Our grassroots outreach is critical for growing our movement, sharing our message, and continuing the fight at home and abroad.
Building lasting community relationships in Arizona and other target states is key to engaging the next generation in our work to end the Global Gag Rule, increase our investment in international family planning, and restore U.S. support for UNFPA. Thank you for your generous support of these programs, and more. We’re deeply grateful for all that you do.