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On Jan. 10, Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced its historic endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president of the United States — the first time the organization has ever endorsed in a presidential primary.

Watch the video of Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards announcing the endorsement:

Speech Transcript

Cecile Richards' prepared remarks:

Natarsha, Crystal — thank you for sharing your powerful stories. And our young leaders – Kelley, Hana — they are the reason I’m so hopeful for the future of this country. Dr. Donna Burkett — the real heroes in this movement, on the front lines every day, are doctors and clinicians like her. 

And our incredible affiliate CEOs:

  • Joann Smith, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Nassau County Action Fund
  • Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts
  • Meagan Gallagher, CEO of Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund

Elected officials:

  • Congresswoman Annie Kuster
  • Congresswoman Niki Tsongas
  • Former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter
  • New Hampshire Executive Councilors Colin Van Ostern and Chris Pappas, who stood strong for Planned Parenthood patients.

And a great many New Hampshire state senators and state representatives in the audience!

I’ve been on many campaigns — but I haven’t been this excited since the day 26 years ago on the capitol lawn in Texas when my mother Ann Richards announced her campaign for governor. And I’ve never been more excited to be in New Hampshire!

Are you ready to make some history?

Planned Parenthood was founded nearly 100 years ago to give women access to the health care and rights they need to build their future. Since then, women have made enormous progress —  and we are just getting started! We are now half the work force, half the college students. We’re in Congress, on the Supreme Court, and with your help, we’re going to put a woman in the White House!

Women have made these gains in large part because we can decide whether and when we have children. And I’m here today to say – we aren’t going back now!

Planned Parenthood health centers see millions of patients each year, from every state in America, including here in New Hampshire. There is no more American institution. From Claremont to Derry to Exeter to Keene, and right here in Manchester, women wrote to say how they count on Planned Parenthood every day:

  • A grad student in Newmarket, who depends on Planned Parenthood for affordable birth control so she can finish school and plan her career
  • A new mother in Tamworth, who goes for her annual check-ups at Planned Parenthood because she knows she’ll get excellent care
  • And a young woman here in Manchester with a family history of cancer who gets her peace of mind by coming to Planned Parenthood for her annual breast exam

They are why we’re here today. Planned Parenthood patients, staff, supporters come from every walk of life — and that includes every political persuasion!

They walk through Planned Parenthood health center doors not to make a political statement. They come in because they want the best care from the best doctors and clinicians — affordable, high quality care, without judgment and without shame!

As one patient from Keene said,

“Planned Parenthood provides screenings and care that keep our population healthy and able to live free! Isn’t that what it’s all about in New Hampshire?”

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund was created because decisions made by politicians, by state executive councils, and by presidents impact the everyday lives of women and their families. In fact, we saw that just this week when the House of Representatives voted to eliminate millions of people’s ability to go to Planned Parenthood for preventive health care, and to gut the Affordable Care Act.

The one reason that bill won’t go into effect? President Barack Obama vetoed it the moment it hit his desk.

The stakes for women, for families – have never been higher. Over the past few months, at community forums around the country, Planned Parenthood Action Fund spoke with supporters on the ground about what they want from the next president. And here’s what we heard:

  • They want a president who believes access to health care isn’t a luxury – it’s a human right.
  • They want a president who understands that being pro-choice also means being able to choose to have a child — and a president who will fight for prenatal care, head start, health care for kids and first class public schools because it takes a village!
  • They want a president who will stand up to the gun lobby and demand safety for kids in schools, folks in church, and women getting healthcare — no matter what.
  • They want a president who will demand nobody is paid less just because they are a woman — we deserve 100 cents on the dollar!

And they demand a president who will protect access to safe and legal abortion — who is tough enough to stand up to anyone who would deny women the right to make their own health decisions! This year – we have that candidate. Today the Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.

This year, more than ever before, we don’t just need a friend, a solid vote, a supporting statement — we need a fighter! It was Hillary Clinton who first said to the world that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights, once and for all.

There are some folks who still don’t believe that. Unfortunately, several of them are running for president. I hope I live to see the day when women’s right to health care is embraced by Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike. It’s an American value! But one lesson from the recent Republican debates: we’ve got work to do.

Every single leading Republican candidate for president has committed to destroying the progress women have made.

  • They have all vowed to ban safe and legal abortion.
  • They have pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act, ending insurance coverage for birth control for 55 million women
  • And they have sworn to block patients from getting care at Planned Parenthood — including cancer screenings, wellness visits and family planning.

The Republicans running for president have painted a picture of their vision for women — and it looks a lot like the 1950s.

"Mad Men" was a good show, but I don’t want to live in it.

Hillary Clinton understands the lives of women. And she’s been fighting for women and families her entire life — not just with her words, but with action:

  • As a young attorney working for the Children’s Defense Fund, advocating for victims of abuse
  • As first lady, helping create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides 8 million children across the country health care coverage
  • As U.S. senator, fighting for equal pay for women

She introduced eight bills to expand access to reproductive health care – eight more than anyone else running for president of the United States. No candidate has done more for women and families – for our health, our rights, and our economic security.

The leader I trust to make sure women and families move forward is Hillary Clinton. 

As secretary of state she put women’s health care and economic rights at the top of the global agenda. She’s stared down some of the toughest dictators around the globe. So, I have no doubt she can stare down the gun lobby, the Tea Party, and anyone who stands against women’s rights — because she never blinks and never wavers.

These last eight years under President Obama, women have made huge advances. But if Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have their way, we’ll be back in the Stone Age.

And we’re not going.

This election is a showdown between those who want to build upon the progress we have made — and those who want to rip it all away. We have worked hard to get where we are today. It is unthinkable that our daughters and granddaughters could be facing a future where they have fewer rights than we do.

But make no mistake. This election will determine:

  • Whether Roe v. Wade continues as the law of the land
  • Whether women and families make their childbearing decisions – not politicians
  • And whether women can continue to seek care from Planned Parenthood.

Our pledge – my pledge – Hillary’s Pledge: Planned Parenthood’s doors stay open!

That’s why we’re here today. That’s why we’re here in New Hampshire. We’re here to make history.

Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.

Tags: Cecile Richards, Endorsement, Hillary Clinton, 2016 Election

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