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Elections & Politics

Pledging to Deny Access to Birth Control, Mitt Romney Provides Another Clear View of His Agenda for Women

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

For Immediate Release: 07.30.12

Mitt Romney never misses an opportunity to play politics with women’s health

Washington, DC:  Following Friday’s court decision granting a preliminary injunction that allows an employer to deny no-cost birth control to his employees, Mitt Romney cheered the dangerous decision — using the opportunity once again to play election politics with women’s health.  Just days before critical preventive benefits from the Affordable Care Act go into effect on August 1, Romney clearly illustrated yet again the harmful and out-of-touch agenda for women that he would pursue if elected.

“Mitt Romney never misses an opportunity to attack women’s access to health care, particularly birth control without co-pays, that women across the country are anxiously anticipating this week,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “What Mitt Romney clearly doesn’t understand is that voters react very negatively — and very strongly — to his out-of-touch views on these issues and they are paying very close attention this election.”

Recent polling conducted by Planned Parenthood Action Fund clearly showed that when women voters learned about Mitt Romney’s views on women’s health – in his own words – they became far less likely to support him.   Additionally, 60 percent of voters in battleground states oppose allowing employers to opt out of covering birth control — and they become far less likely to support politicians who seek those exemptions for businesses.

“Given voters’ views on women’s health issues, it’s just not clear who Mitt Romney is trying to appeal to,” said Richards.  “Access to affordable birth control is not only a basic health imperative for women, it is a critical economic issue for millions of families struggling to juggle their monthly expenses.  Every dollar invested in family planning saves the country nearly $4.  For someone who claims to be such an astute businessman, Mitt Romney certainly doesn’t seem to understand the economic impacts of his harmful views.”

Virtually all women in America have used birth control.  In fact, 99 percent of sexually active American women report using contraception at some point in their lives.  In addition, 34 percent of women voters report having struggled to afford prescription birth control at some point in their lives and, as a result, used birth control inconsistently. 

According to a recent Hart Research Poll, when it comes to employers providing full coverage for prescription birth control, voters see this issue as a matter of women’s health care and access to birth control and reject efforts to frame this as a religious liberty issue.  By a 20-point margin, voters are more likely to say that this issue is a matter of women’s health care and access to birth control (56 percent) than an employer’s religious liberty (36 percent) when it comes to whether religiously affiliated employers should be required to provide coverage for prescription birth control.

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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.