LAS VEGAS, NV –– At a rally at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards spoke about the fundamental importance of women’s equality, health and rights and the need to build a real progressive movement that includes 51 percent of the population.

Cecile Richards said:

You cannot rebuild the economy, and you cannot rebuild a political party, without women. Women’s equality is fundamental to the progressive movement – and there is no way to be equal without equal pay, equal health care, and equal rights.

“Equal rights includes access to affordable birth control, affordable health care, and safe and legal abortion. These are not red state or blue state issues, not even Republican or Democratic issues. These are issues for every woman in America.

“This White House and this Congress have shown they are willing to throw women under the bus – and we are fighting them every step of the way.

“That’s why we are building a progressive movement where women’s health and women’s economic empowerment aren’t an afterthought – they are at the forefront. We need a 50-state strategy in this country that fundamentally understands women’s rights are just as important in Louisiana as they are in New York State.

https://twitter.com/PPact/status/855863323744718848

Read the full text of Cecile Richards remarks:

(As prepared for delivery)

Thank you Congresswoman Titus, who stands and fights for women in Congress every single day!

It’s great to be back in Nevada – where last November you showed the power of grassroots organizing!

In the last election  – on the ground – we stood together – women and union members and Latino organizers and the LGBTQ community and we made history – together – by electing the first Latina to the US Senate, Catherine Cortez Masto! And Jacky Rosen and Ruben Kihuen to Congress!

That’s what democracy looks like!

Now everything didn’t go as we wanted last election – but today the resistance is strong and is growing.

The day after the inauguration, 4 million people in america marched for women’s rights!

And if you are scoring - that’s about 10 times more than showed up  to the inauguration!

But the march wasn’t just in Washington, DC. Women marched in Reno, in Vegas, Elko, and South Lake Tahoe

We marched because we have come too far to go back now!

Millions of women – and men – marched in January because we knew there would come a day when we’d have to fight to protect our fundamental rights.

And my friends, that day is here.

As we know from experience, if you aren’t at the table, you are on the menu – and from day one, women have been in the crosshairs of this congress and this White House.

The first day in office, the White House ended maternal and child  health care, HIV, and Zika care, and safe abortion for women around the globe.

The Congress tried to repeal the ACA.

Here’s just some highlights –

  • Take away health care for 24 million people

  • Allow insurance companies to deny women coverage because of pregnancy, domestic violence, and pre-existing conditions.

  • End access to affordable health care at Planned Parenthood for millions of Americans

  • And if that’s not enough – they are going to take away coverage of maternity benefits!

This from the supposedly ‘pro-family’ party?

Let’s be clear: there’s nothing pro-family about making it harder to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise children.

The good news?

Women are leading the resistance!

We are not just knitting pink pussy hats and marching – but yes for that

86% of the phone calls into Congress against Trumpcare came from who?

Women.

Speaking up at town hall meetings, about the care they got from Planned Parenthood?

Women.

And in Reno last Monday, folks flooded Senator Dean Heller’s town hall, where he pledged in front of god and country to protect Planned Parenthood –

And you know what?

We are going to hold him to his word.

Now since he made that pledge, Senator Heller is trying to crawfish back – and so he needs to hear from all of you.

Women in this country – women in Nevada – deserve the same right as Senator Heller has – and that is to go to the health care provider of their choice – and for 2.5 million people every year, that’s Planned Parenthood!

At Planned Parenthood – we believe in prevention – and so, in order to prevent millions of people in America losing their health care, i need you to take out your phones and add Senator Heller to your speed dial

775-204-0136.

Because remember – who does Senator Heller work for? He works for you!

And in November 2018, he either works for you, or he’s looking for another job.

You cannot rebuild the economy, and you cannot rebuild a political party, without women.

Women’s equality is fundamental to the progressive movement – and there is no way to be equal without equal pay – equal health care – and equal rights.

Equal rights includes access to affordable birth control, affordable health care, and safe and legal abortion.

These are not red state or blue state issues, not even Republican or Democratic issues. These are issues for every woman in America.

This White House and this Congress have shown they are willing to throw women under the bus – and we are fighting them every step of the way.

That’s why we are building a progressive movement where women’s health and women’s economic empowerment aren’t an afterthought – they are at the forefront.

We need a 50 state strategy in this country that fundamentally understands women’s rights are just as important in Louisiana as they are in New York State

Over the past few days Tom Perez and Bernie Sanders have heard that message loud and clear -that you can’t be a progressive movement unless everyone – all means all – everyone gets to be part of that progress - and women can’t progress without a full and uncompromised commitment to access to reproductive rights and care

Planned Parenthood provides high quality healthcare to 18,000 Nevadans each year and 2.5 million across the country – and our job is to fight for them every day.

Planned Parenthood’s motto?

Care, no matter what.

No matter your income, your geography – your sexual orientation or gender identity – and by god no matter your immigration or refugee status – Planned Parenthood is here for everyone because health care in this country should be a right and not a privilege.

We’re fighting for the right of working women to earn a living wage and be paid equally … the right to raise our families in safe communities with clean air and water … for immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, workers rights and voting rights.

And you better believe we’re fighting for reproductive rights, including safe, legal abortion!

So now is the time to link arms, fight together, and leave no one behind.

One of us can be ignored, two of us can be dismissed, but together, we are a movement, and we are unstoppable!

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