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Elections & Politics

Women’s Health Activists Stand Up to Romney for His Opposition to Low-Cost Birth Control

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

For Immediate Release: 06.19.12

Giant Birth Control Pill Pack and Surrogate “Pillamina” Following Romney on Tour; Letting Him Know Women are Watching

Planned Parenthood Action Fund supporters across the country are following Mitt Romney on the road and letting him know that his opposition to birth control is harmful and out of touch with their needs. These women’s health activists are being joined by Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s giant pill pack “Pillamina,” who represents the 34 percent of women voters in America who report struggling with the cost of birth control and the vast majority of Americans who support providing birth control at low or no cost.

“Mitt Romney has clearly said that not only was Griswold v. Connecticut not decided correctly, but that he opposes President Obama’s birth control benefit, which will lower costs for millions of American women,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “The bottom line is that access to birth control is an economic issue for women.  Period.  That’s something that President Obama clearly understands, and that Mitt Romney simply doesn’t.  It’s amazing that nearly 50 years after Griswold, women still have to fight for access to birth control.”

Pillamina’s road trip has already included appearances along Mitt Romney’s bus tour in Stratham, NH, and Newark, OH.  Tomorrow, Pillamina will follow Romney to Troy, MI.  Notably, in Michigan, women’s health activists are not only standing up for access to low-cost birth control, but fighting to ensure that opponents of women’s health in the state legislature are unsuccessful in their effort to ban access to safe, legal abortion care — what Mitt Romney wants to do for the whole country. 

“For someone who says he’s a smart businessman, it’s surprising that Mitt Romney doesn’t see the costs to the American economy — and American households — of cutting access to family planning,” said Richards.  “Unintended pregnancies are already costing U.S. taxpayers $11 billion a year.  The smartest thing we can do for women’s health and fiscal responsibility is actually to invest in family planning, as President Obama has done.”

Romney would rescind President Obama’s policy requiring health insurance plans to include contraception without co-pays and has also said that Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 case striking down a ban on contraception, was not decided correctly.  Additionally, Romney has pledged to “get rid” of Planned Parenthood, denying women access to birth control and cancer screenings; end the national family planning program, which provides preventive care to nearly five million women; and cut off access to birth control for women who need it the most.  Romney also wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and end access to safe and legal abortion.

Doctors and public health experts agree that birth control is a basic and essential component of women’s preventive health care and that increased access to birth control prevents unintended pregnancies and improves health outcomes for women and their families.  Increased access to birth control is also directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality, as well as other health benefits and positive health outcomes. 

This isn’t Pillamina’s first time fighting for women’s health – see her past work in this slide show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/womenarewatching/sets/72157630179205034/.  And follow her on Twitter at #Pillamina.

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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.