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Hillary Clinton chose Tim Kaine as her running mate, and that’s an exciting thing. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is happy that a fierce champion of equality and justice has joined this ticket!

The last four years in Congress have been brutal on access to abortion, reproductive health writ large, and care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Tim Kaine has been resolute and strong, and his voting record in the Senate has earned him a 100% rating with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  

One of our main jobs as advocates for reproductive rights and freedom is to work with office holders and show them that having the right to reproductive health care means nothing if women don’t have access. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic ticket, and the Democratic platform are all clear that guaranteeing equal access to safe, legal abortion and expanded access to all reproductive health services are top priorities. They know it’s a commitment that Planned Parenthood Action Fund will hold them to.

So let’s get to know Tim Kaine — there’s a lot to like about him!

1. Tim Kaine trusts women to make their own reproductive decisions.

Senator Kaine has said clearly that politicians should not make decisions for women about their reproductive health care. He believes that decisions we make about pregnancy are a woman’s to make with her doctor, partner, or family, without interference from gynoticians. In the Senate, Kaine has been an unrelenting defender of Roe v. Wade.  

When Tim Kaine was governor of Virginia, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations objected to legislation he signed  including an “informed consent” abortion law and a law that okayed anti-abortion license plates. Since that time, Planned Parenthood regional organizations have worked to make sure that Senator Kaine understands the impact of these laws and that they do not result in better health or care for women.

Senator Kaine has proven his growing understanding of reproductive health care, with his embrace of Planned Parenthood and his votes in the  Senate, where he has been a true champion for protecting access to reproductive health care — including abortion — every chance he’s had. Planned Parenthood Action Fund works with elected officials of all stripes to make sure they don’t fall for junk science or failed ideas like abstinence-only programs and to challenge them to support not only rights but equal access to those rights.   

2. Tim Kaine is a staunch advocate for women’s health.

There’s a reason Senator Kaine has a 100% voting record from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Since joining the Senate, he voted for at least 14 pieces of pro-women’s health legislation, including:

  • He voted to protect access to reproductive and other health care services under the Affordable Care Act.

  • He voted for the “Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act” to ban employers from refusing to provide health coverage — including contraceptive coverage — guaranteed to their employees and dependents as part of the Affordable Care Act.

  • He voted for the “Women’s Access to Quality Health Care” amendment, which would have provided $500 million for the Title X family planning program and supported training programs for women’s health nurse practitioners. Additionally, the Women's Access to Quality Health Care amendment would have removed a reference to a harmful provision commonly referred to as the Hyde Amendment — a restrictive policy banning federal taxpayer dollars being used to pay for abortion care — that was passed by the House of Representatives as part of H.R. 2.

3. Tim Kaine has stood up for Planned Parenthood time and again.

Senator Kaine has consistently opposed repeated attempts to block patients from accessing STD testing, lifesaving cancer screening, birth control and other preventative services at Planned Parenthood health centers.

In addition to the pro-women’s health bills he supported above, he voted for an amendment that would have ensured that federal funds are made available to Planned Parenthood health centers for preventive health care services such as contraception, life saving cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment to allow these centers to continue to provide the quality, compassionate care that millions of people in America have come to rely on for nearly 100 years.

4. Tim Kaine has joined the most pro-woman ticket in American history.

Hillary Clinton kicked off her general election campaign with a powerful and passionate speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, calling for an end to the Hyde Amendment, increased federal funding for Planned Parenthood health centers, and expansion of access to reproductive health care — including abortion. That commitment is also reflected in the Democratic Party’s platform this year, which directly calls for protecting Planned Parenthood and safe, legal abortion. Clinton’s selection of Senator Kaine as her running mate shows that she trusts him to have her back — and our backs, too.

As Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said on the Rachel Maddow show:  

He’s been a great senator. He’s had a 100% voting record in the United States Senate. … He’s been not only a solid vote, but really, an ally. Look, this is the strongest reproductive rights ticket we’ve ever had. The platform is stronger than it’s ever been, and it’s wonderful to think that Secretary Clinton is going to have a good running mate and strong ally because she is so far ahead on women’s rights and women’s reproductive access.

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When you think about voters — women and men who are making their decision about who’s going to best represent their values — it is very clear to me that Secretary Clinton and Senator Kaine are where the American people are and that these are going to be issues that decide votes in November and that we have a ticket we can really be proud of and stand behind.   

5. Tim Kaine has walked the walk on social justice.

After college, Senator Kaine spent a year as a missionary in Honduras, working to help children growing up in poverty. He then spent nearly two decades as an attorney fighting for civil rights and against the racist, discriminatory practice of “redlining” that denied fair housing to African Americans. As a senator, he has repeatedly cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.

6. Tim Kaine knows how condoms work. And he can spell that too.

Unlike the Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, who once said that “condoms are a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases,” Senator Kaine understands that condoms are highly effective protection against STDs and unintended pregnancy. That’s why, when he was governor of Virginia, he cut off funding for abstinence-only programs, instead supporting comprehensive education that included information about contraceptives, when he read the studies showing how ineffective abstinence-only programs are.

And — bonus — as a spelling bee champion and the official “Best Speller In The United States,” Tim Kaine can spell C-O-N-D-O-M-S, too.

Tim Kaine has Clinton’s back — and ours.

While Clinton and Kaine represent the strongest reproductive rights ticket ever, Donald Trump and Mike Pence are running one of the most extreme tickets in generations. A Trump-Pence ticket should send a shiver down the spine of women in this country.

Just how toxic would a Trump presidency be for millions of Americans? Find out how Trump’s dangerous agenda will make things worse for women and our whole country at ToxicTrump.us — then TAKE ACTION.

Tags: Election 2016, Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine

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