Make Your Gift
Make Your Gift

Elections & Politics

CECILE RICHARDS ADDRESSES DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 08.26.08

Highlights Senator Obama’s Strong Record Protecting Women’s Health

Denver, CO — Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards addressed the Democratic National Convention tonight, speaking to the health care needs of women across the country (text as prepared is below). After eight years of disastrous women’s health policies, Planned Parenthood and millions of women across the country are looking forward to having a president in the White House who is committed to protecting women’s health.

“All women deserve a president who understands their health care needs,” said Richards. “The record is clear: Barack Obama does and John McCain does not.”

Senator Obama has worked for affordable family planning, comprehensive sex education, and fully supports a woman’s right to choose the health care option that is best for her.

John McCain has voted against policies that would protect women’s health 125 times during his 25-year career in Congress, including legislation for family planning funding, international family planning funding, and comprehensive sex education. Richards told convention goers, “John McCain believes that judges, politicians, and bureaucrats know better than women themselves what’s best for their health.”

Last month, John McCain said he wasn’t informed enough to answer a question about whether insurance companies should cover birth control. During her speech at the convention, Richards reminded the crowd that John McCain voted against legislation requiring that coverage twice and she said, “Where women’s health is concerned, it seems clear that when John McCain says ‘I don’t know’ — what he really means is ‘I don’t care.’” Richards continued, “Women deserve better.”

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed Barack Obama and is working to make sure he is the next president of the United States. That work includes the One Million Strong Campaign to bring one million pro-women’s health voters to the polls this November, and a campaign to spread the truth about John McCain’s record on women’s health care.

While this is Richards’ first time speaking at a Democratic National Convention, she is by no means a stranger to the convention itself. In 1988, she was with her mother, former Texas Governor Ann Richards, who told delegates that elections are a battle for “those who know we can do better.” This year, after eight years of policies that have done nothing to help the 47 million uninsured Americans, Cecile Richards made clear that we can and we must do better.

###

FULL TEXT: Cecile Richards, Democratic National Convention August 26, 2008

My mother, Ann Richards, gave the keynote address at the Democratic convention 20 years ago. I wish she were here with us to celebrate everything she worked for and believed in is coming true this week in Denver.

I am the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. After eight years of George Bush, you might be surprised that a Texan is president of Planned Parenthood. After all, there aren't many people eager to see the words "Texan" and "president" in the same sentence ever again. I'm proud that for only the second time in our history, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed a candidate for president, Barack Obama.

Planned Parenthood health centers are the leading providers of women's health care in the country. One in four women visit them and not just for birth control — for cancer screening and breast exams. Many women have no other source of health care. I see firsthand what women and families are facing  choosing between rent and doctor visits  young people needing information to make responsible decisions about their health.

Women deserve a president who understands their health care needs. The record is clear: Barack Obama does and John McCain does not. Barack Obama has worked for affordable family planning, for comprehensive sex education and for a woman's right to choose. He will be a president who supports women's health and rights one hundred percent. He's the change America needs.

And John McCain? He'll be more of the same. He's spent 25 years working against the health care needs of women. John McCain has voted against women's health care 125 times. You can look it up: he voted against real sex education, against affordable family planning and, if elected, John McCain has vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade.

John McCain believes that judges, politicians and bureaucrats know better than women themselves what's best for their health. Just two weeks ago, John McCain said he didn't know if insurance companies should cover birth control. Well, let me remind you senator, you voted against it twice.

Where women's health is concerned, it seems clear that when John McCain says "I don't know," what he really means is "I don't care." Women deserve better.

On that summer night in Atlanta 20 years ago my mother introduced her "nearly perfect" granddaughter Lily. Lily is here tonight and there is nothing that would make Mom prouder than that this November Lily will cast her first vote for president  for Barack Obama. For mom, for Lily, and for all women, Barack Obama is the right choice.

Barack Obama is the change America needs.

# # #

Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.