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Media Memo: Romney Can Skip Family Leader Forum; Can’t Hide His Extreme Record on Women’s Health #runandhideromney

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

For Immediate Release: 11.19.11

TO:  Interested Parties

DATE:  November 19, 2011

RE: Romney Can Skip Family Leader Forum; Can’t Hide His Extreme Record on Women’s Health #runandhideromney

At the Family Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum later today, the GOP presidential candidates in attendance will tout their out-of-the-mainstream record on women’s health.  

Even though Mitt Romney won’t be there, make no mistake, he is just as extreme on women’s health as his fellow GOP presidential candidates.

Romney, like the other GOP presidential candidates, supports:

*barring Planned Parenthood health centers from providing preventive health care through federal programs

*overturning Roe v. Wade

*attacking family planning programs

That’s why the Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be using the hashtag #runandhideromney during the forum:  to remind the public that Romney can’t hide from his out-of-touch record by skipping this conservative forum.

It was just two weeks ago that voters in Mississippi defeated a “personhood” amendment by a double-digit margin, sending a strong message that even in a conservative Southern state, voters don’t want politicians to play politics with women’s health.

In an effort to highlight these critical health issues the Planned Parenthood Action Fund has launched Women are Watching, its campaign to educate, engage, and activate supporters across the country for the 2012 elections.

The campaign’s website: http://www.womenarewatching.org/ showcases women’s health “Chumps,” drawing attention to Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and others for their dangerous positions on women’s health.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION FUND RESPONSE TO ATTACKS ON PLANNED PARENTHOOD:

“The GOP presidential candidates are way out of the mainstream when it comes to women’s health,” says Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Their proposal to bar Planned Parenthood health centers from providing preventive health care means they support cutting off access to birth control, cancer screenings, and annual exams for millions of women.”

ATTACKING WOMEN’S HEALTH IS BAD POLICY AND BAD POLITICS, EVEN FOR REPUBLICANS

While the GOP presidential candidates attack women’s health, it is important to remember it is not only bad policy, undermining access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other preventive care, it is bad politics, even for Republicans.

The simple fact is that attacking women's health is bad general election politics for he GOP presidential candidates because it is out of sync with the position of key voting groups needed to win the presidency — including women voters, young voters, and moderate voters.

Republican strategist Mark McKinnon:  Planned Parenthood litmus test "send[s] a terrible message to independent voters the GOP needs in order to win." Politico reports, "The idea of Planned Parenthood's funding as a Republican litmus test does not sit well with all of the party's strategists, some of whom worry it will drive away the exact constituencies that the party needs to win in 2012. 'It would send a terrible message to independent voters the GOP needs in order to win,' said Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to John McCain, now at Public Strategies." [Politico, 6/8/11]

Polls show young and female voters, who are critical to the 2012 elections, support Planned Parenthood by a strong majority. Public polls by Gallup, CNN, NBC/Wall Street Journal and Quinnipiac University show majority support for Planned Parenthood and solid opposition to congressional attacks on Planned Parenthood.

  • CNN poll:  65 percent of voters “think the federal government should continue to provide funding to Planned Parenthood.” This includes 68 percent of women and 58 percent of independents. [CNN.com, 4/11/11]
     
  • Quinnipiac poll:  Voters opposed “cutting off federal government funding to Planned Parenthood” by a margin of 53 percent to 43 percent.  Opposition was even stronger among 18- to 34-year-olds (66 percent) and self-described moderates (60 percent). [Quinnipiac University, 3/3/2011]
     
  • NBC/WSJ poll:  53 percent of respondents — and 60 percent of 18- to 49-year-old women — found it “mostly or totally unacceptable” to “eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventive health services.” [NBC/Wall Street Journal, 03/03/2011]

Polls consistently show strong majority support forRoe v. Wade.  A 2009 (most recent available) CBS News/New York Timespoll shows 64 percent of adults oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.  A 2009 CNN/Opinion Research poll shows 68 percent of adults oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.

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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.