On Friday, three major advocacy groups released their joint project to educate people about the status of sexual and reproductive rights throughout the US following last week’s midterm elections. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collectivem, and Ipas have created an interactive map entitled “Mapping Our Rights: Navigating Discrimination against Women, Men, and Families.” The map allows viewers to see where each state’s legislature stands on reproductive freedom and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, issues the groups argue are inextricably linked.
These rights vary greatly from state to state. The online map illustrates this by ranking states on a unique point-based system; viewers can also choose which specific policies they wish to examine. Ohio is ranked lowest, with 21 laws pending or in effect that restrict reproductive or LGBT rights, while New Mexico, Washington, and California emerge as the most progressive states.
The organizations hope this map will be used as a tool for people to educate themselves about the laws in their states and to enact change. Even though there are more progressives (many of them women) in Congress as a result of the midterm elections, the group leaders are hopeful that advocates for reproductive and LGBT rights won’t lose their sense of urgency at the state level.