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Elections & Politics

House Vote to Repeal Health Reform Highlights the Stakes in this Election and the Contrast Between President Obama and Mitt Romney

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

For Immediate Release: 07.11.12

Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Action Fund condemns today’s House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which brings into stark relief just how high the stakes are for this election.  For the millions of women and families who are struggling financially and need access to affordable health care, opponents of women’s health, including Mitt Romney, continue to make clear how harmful and out-of-touch their agenda is on women’s health.

“Opponents of women’s health want to deny millions of people health care coverage and basic protections that they are counting on purely for political reasons, and despite the fact that it has been ruled the law of the land,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “There can be no doubt about the stakes in this election and the contrast between President Obama and Mitt Romney.  President Obama has worked to expand access to affordable health care and he’ll continue to do so, while Mitt Romney would leave millions of Americans without basic health care.”

The Affordable Care Act is the greatest advance in women’s health in a generation, providing concrete benefits for women, including access to birth control and cancer screenings without co-pays, guaranteed direct access to ob/gyn providers without referrals, and an end to discriminatory practices against women, such as charging women higher premiums and denying coverage for “pre-existing conditions.”

“Women who come into Planned Parenthood health centers often struggle to balance paying for birth control and health services with paying for textbooks, groceries, or gas for the car.  They are the ones who would be hurt if the Republican leadership in Washington had its way.  Planned Parenthood health centers will continue to provide care to those who need it, while Planned Parenthood Action Fund will continue fighting to protect the reforms that Americans want and need,” Richards said.

Despite today’s vote, millions of Americans will stand to benefit from continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act:

• In August, the birth control benefit will go into effect, making birth control available without co-pays or deductibles.  On average, women spend up to $600 a year on birth control.
• Millions more young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance, in addition to the 3.1 million who have already gained that coverage under the law.
• Millions of women will gain access to no-cost preventive health screenings, in addition to the more than 45 million women who have already benefited from these preventive health reforms.
• 12.8 million women of reproductive age will gain access to insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

“What President Obama understands that Mitt Romney clearly doesn’t is that women’s health issues are economic issues,” said Richards.  “Mitt Romney would never have signed the Affordable Care Act in the first place, and, like John Boehner and Eric Cantor, Mr. Romney wants to repeal it.  He also opposes access to low- and no-cost birth control for women, and would appoint Supreme Court justices who would roll back rights and protections for women’s health.  And we know from our own polling that these are issues that voters — particularly women voters — are playing very close attention to in this election.”

The contrast between President Obama and Mitt Romney on women’s health couldn’t be starker.  President Obama understands the health and economic challenges women face and has fought to address them.  In contrast, Mitt Romney:

• pledges to “get rid” of Planned Parenthood, denying women access to birth control and cancer screenings
• would end the nation’s family planning program, which provides preventive care to nearly five million women, and wants to cut off access to birth control for women who need it the most
• supports “personhood” efforts, which have been rejected in MS, CO, and OK, and could ban common forms of birth control and IVF
• opposes providing birth control to women at low or no cost
• wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and end safe/legal abortion.

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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.