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Elections & Politics

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Rallies for Women's Health in Charlotte; Part of 2012 “Women Are Watching” Campaign to Elect Pro-Women’s Health Candidates Up and Down the Ballot

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

For Immediate Release: 09.04.12

"We're here to re-elect Barack Obama President of the United States of America"

- Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund

"Planned Parenthood saved my life"

- Cynthia Wilson, Planned Parenthood patient


CHARLOTTE – The Planned Parenthood Action Fund today held a rousing Women are Watching rally in Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention as part of the organization’s campaign to educate voters about what’s at stake for women and women’s health this November and mobilize them to get out the vote. The organization endorsed President Obama for re-election on May 30, 2012.

Gathering at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte, nearly a thousand attendees, wearing "2012 Yes We Plan" pink T-shirts, sent a clear message to candidates and politicians like Mitt Romney who oppose women’s health — women are watching and they vote. This year, women will decide the outcome of elections across the country, and are watching very closely to ensure that they elect candidates — up and down the ballot — who will protect women’s health care.

President Obama understands the health and economic challenges women face — and has fought to address them by expanding health care for women, including access to birth control and cancer screenings without a co-pay; fighting for equal pay for women; and standing up to protect a woman’s ability to make her own personal medical decisions.

The rally follows the organization’s two-week Women Are Watching…and Voting battleground bus tour, which made stops in eleven states and traveled more than 5,000 miles.

Speakers at today’s rally included: Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards; author, podcaster, and co-host of CBS' The Talk, Aisha Tyler; Georgetown Law Center graduate and women's health activist Sandra Fluke; Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker; Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4); actor/activist Lisa Edelstein, best known for her role as Dr. Lisa Cuddy on the television drama House; President of Young Democrats of America Emily Tisch Sussman; and Planned Parenthood patient Cynthia Wilson, 55, from Dallas, Texas.

"On behalf of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, on behalf of the one in five women who come to Planned Parenthood at some point in her lifetime for health care that they need, on behalf of the nearly three million folks who came last year, and the doctors and nurses who go to work every single day to care for women in this country – we're here to re-elect Barack Obama President of the United States of America," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, in her concluding remarks this afternoon in Charlotte.

Efforts to eliminate access to birth control, cancer screenings, and basic preventive health services started in Congress 18 months ago and give voters a clear look into the extreme and out-of-touch agenda that Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and their closest allies would bring to the White House when it comes to women and women’s health.

"Planned Parenthood saved my life," said Cynthia Wilson, whose ovarian cancer was diagnosed early during a visit to a Planned Parenthood health center in Texas, as she spoke about Gov. Perry’s drastic statewide cuts to health care and family planning for an estimated 160,000 Texas women. “It makes me weep to think of the women who will not have access to the care that I did — and who may end up dying because their last lifeline was cut. And what Rick Perry has done to Texas, is the same thing that Mitt Romney has pledged to do across our country — to get rid of Planned Parenthood — ending access to cancer screenings, preventive care, and birth control for millions of women.”

Nearly three million patients come to Planned Parenthood health centers every year — not to make a political statement but to get high-quality, affordable health care. Planned Parenthood health centers see more than two million patients for birth control every year, and provide nearly 750,000 breast cancer screenings and more than four million STI tests/treatments. Preventive care and birth control are economic issues for women and families, and supporting family planning is smart fiscal policy for the country.

Women are Watching is Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s 2012 campaign to educate women across the country about the unprecedented attacks on women’s health and where candidates stand on pivotal health care issues, empower women to hold anti-women’s health candidates of either party accountable, and work to elect pro-women’s health candidates up and down the ballot.

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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.