Make Your Gift
Make Your Gift

Elections & Politics

Statement on the Values Voter Summit

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

For Immediate Release: 09.14.12

Paul Ryan Joins Politicians and Figureheads 
Opposed to Women’s Health at Values Voter Summit

Previews Romney/Ryan’s Dangerous Agenda for Women

Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Action Fund released the following statement today in response to vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s speech at the Values Voter Summit taking place in Washington, DC.  Ryan joins a lineup of politicians and figureheads who strongly oppose women’s health and gives preview to the dangerous agenda for women and women’s health that the Romney/Ryan ticket would bring to the White House.

“Yet again, the Republican ticket is mingling with politicians and figureheads whose policies and priorities are out of touch with women and dangerous for their health,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and their closest allies want to turn back the clock for women, and Ryan’s speech at the social conservative Values Voter Summit is just the latest reminder of how far back they’re willing to go.

“Access to birth control and emergency contraception is a critical health and economic concern for women.  This isn’t a religious or political issue — it’s a medical issue, and that’s where we should keep it.  Bosses inserting themselves into the personal medical decisions of their employees — decisions that should be left to a woman in consultation with her doctor — could have dangerous implications for millions of women and families,” said Laguens.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have vowed to overturn Roe v. Wade and end safe and legal abortion; have said they support extreme “personhood” measures that would give full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs; would defund Planned Parenthood, cutting off women’s access to preventive care including cancer screenings and birth control; and have promised to shut down the nation’s family planning program that more than five million people a year rely on for birth control, cancer screenings, and other care.

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 the issue of whether religiously affiliated employers should be required to provide coverage for prescription birth control is a matter of women’s health care (56 percent), rather than an employer’s religious liberty (36 percent).
- Independents’ views mirror those of voters overall, with 56 percent saying that this is a matter of women’s health care and access to birth control rather than one of religious liberty (34 percent).
- Even Catholics are more likely to see this issue as a matter of women’s health care (51 percent) than one of religious liberty (44 percent).

At the Values Voter Summit, Paul Ryan joins a lineup of extreme opponents of women’s health, including:

Representative Allen West, who, days after taking office, teamed up with anti-women’s health leader Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to propose legislation to eliminate comprehensive private health insurance coverage for women.  Then, he joined Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) in an attempt to bar Planned Parenthood health centers from providing preventive health care like cancer screenings and birth control through federal programs.

Representative Steve King, who wants to ban all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and believes a woman should be required to undergo a patronizing process before making decisions about her health by forcing a woman to view an ultrasound before deciding to end a pregnancy.  He also only supports federal judges if they pass the “pro-life litmus test.”

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who signed a mandatory ultrasound bill into law in March, which caused a national uproar.  The law is an outrageous example of government overreach — requiring every woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound performed at least 24 hours in advance.  Additionally, during the 2011 General Assembly McDonnell fast-tracked a backdoor attempt to ban abortion in the state by pushing for excessive and onerous Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP) legislation to limit women’s access to comprehensive care.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who has bragged about his role in shaping the Republican Party platform this year, which has been dubbed the “most conservative platform in modern history,” and calls for a ban on access to safe and legal abortion.

# # #

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.