The Goldwater Award

goldwater2.pngEach year, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) presents The Barry Goldwater Award to an outstanding public official who has supported Planned Parenthood and reproductive health issues. 

This prestigious award is presented each year to an outstanding elected official who has acted as a leader within the Republican Party to protect women’s reproductive rights across the United States. The award honors the late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, an outspoken leader in the Republican Party for decades. Senator Goldwater was a freethinking individual, who voted his conscience and was a leading voice in the Republican Party to ensure the rights granted to women following the Roe V. Wade decision.

The 2013 Barry Goldwater Award winner was Oklahoma State Representative Doug Cox, MD.  As a highly regarded member of the Oklahoma State House, Rep. Cox has tirelessly and effectively argued against more than 160 anti-women’s health measures.  In addition to his legislative job, Rep. Cox still serves as an emergency room physician, often working nights and weekends in the ER even while the state house is in session. As a physician, Dr. Cox knows and understands the impact anti-women’s health legislation can have on the health and well-being of all Oklahoma women.


Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma, which has worked closely with Representative Cox over the years, nominated him for this award, which he received at the 2013 Planned Parenthood National Conference.  He delivered a moving and inspirational acceptance speech that showed how deeply he supports women’s health, saying, “I unequivocally believe access to birth control has emancipated women to control their own destiny.” 

At his own political risk, Rep. Cox fights against the extreme and out-of-touch anti-women’s health measures being pushed by other members in the state house.  It takes a lot of courage to speak out as he does; he truly embodies what it means to act on one’s conscience regardless of what others think.  Rep. Cox stands up for Oklahoma women’s access to affordable health care — even as others work to limit access; he’s a true champion for women’s health. 

Rep. Cox joins a list of former recipients which includes:

  • 2012 — U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (New York)
  • 2011 — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
  • 2010 — State Sen. Jean Schodorf (Kansas) 
  • 2009 — U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (Illinois) 
  • 2008 — U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (Illinois) 
  • 2007 — State Assemblyman Keith Richman (California) 
  • 2006 — State Rep. Stan Adelstein (South Dakota) 
  • 2005 — U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (New York) 
  • 2004 — former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons (Connecticut) 
  • 2003 — former Lt. Gov. Joy Corning (Iowa) 
  • 2002 — U.S. Rep. Steve Horn (California) 
  • 2001 — State Sen. Jeff Wentworth (Texas) 
  • 2000 — U.S. Rep. Connie Morella (Maryland) and U.S. Sen. John Chafee (Rhode Island - posthumously) 
  • 1999 — U.S. Rep. Bill Green (New York) 
  • 1998 — Mary Dent Crisp, former chair of the National Republican Coalition for Choice 
  • 1997 — former U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater (Arizona) and his wife Susan 
  • 1996 — U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) and U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson (Connecticut) 
  • 1995 — former Gov. Jock McKernan (Maine)