Candidate Invokes Debunked Smear Campaign in Attempt to Win Cheap Political Points


Washington, D.C. –– In tonight’s Republican debate, Ted Cruz lied through his teeth about Planned Parenthood, and pledged that one of the first things he would do if elected President would be to “instruct the Department of Justice to investigate [Planned Parenthood] and prosecute any and all criminal violations.”

Officials in twelve states have concluded investigations into claims that Planned Parenthood profited from fetal tissue donation and each one has cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing. Officials in eight states have declined to even investigate citing a lack of any evidence to suggest wrongdoing. When a grand jury from Cruz’s home state of Texas did investigate the videos made by anti-abortion extremists, it cleared Planned Parenthood of all wrongdoing — and indicted the criminals behind the video smear campaign on felony charges.

Ted Cruz has lied and lied about Planned Parenthood –– invoking entirely discredited smear videos to demonize Planned Parenthood and the millions of people who seek reproductive care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

But Ted Cruz’s lies have real consequences. Millions of women, men and young people rely on Planned Parenthood for essential reproductive health care for services like cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and well-woman exams. Cruz has been attacking women’s health care, even threatening to shut down the government, with complete disregard for the millions of people who would be hurt as a result.

Ted Cruz has touted support from the most extreme and dangerous elements of the anti-abortion movement — namely the leader of Operation Rescue, Troy Newman. Newman is so extreme that Australia literally won’t let him in their country. A member of Newman’s Operation Rescue is responsible for murdering Dr. George Tiller. One of the group’s current spokeswomen, Cheryl Sullenger, served two years in prison for attempting to bomb a women’s health center that provided abortions. Newman himself has defended multiple other extremists and called the murder of an abortion clinic doctor a “justifiable defensive action.”

Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit against Daleiden and a number of other anti-abortion extremists, alleging they had engaged in an elaborate, illegal conspiracy in order to block women’s access to safe and legal abortion.

Despite repeated attacks by Ted Cruz and anti-abortion extremists,14 national polls have shown widespread popular support for Planned Parenthood and the care it provides — and strong opposition to attempts to block patients from accessing care at the non-profit health care provider.

Ted Cruz wants to ban safe, legal abortion – even in cases of rape and incest

  • His positions:

    • Ted Cruz supported the Texas bill HB2, the Texas anti-abortion law that has already shut down more than half of the abortion providers in the state and has forced some people to wait as long as 20 days, drive hundreds of miles, and make multiple trips to access safe, legal abortion.

    • He has called Roe v. Wade a “shadow in our nation’s history”

    • He is promising to push for a personhood amendment to the Constitution

    • He promises to nominate Supreme Court judges who will overturn Roe

  • What his positions actually mean:

    • He would let government get in the way of women and their personal health care decisions. Look at Cruz’s home state of Texas where politicians have done all they can to restrict access to safe, legal abortion.  Since HB 2 passed, a bill Cruz threw his support behind, the consequences have been devastating. Texas paints a disturbing picture of what American would look like under Ted Cruz.​

    • Women have been forced to travel hundreds of miles, cross state lines, and wait weeks to get an abortion, if they can get one at all.

    • Researchers estimate that at least 100,000 Texas women have tried to end a pregnancy on their own without medical assistance (read more here and here).  Due to HB2, that number will only increase, since the study found that women were more likely to self-induce abortion if they encountered barriers to reproductive health services.

    • If the 2013 restrictions go into full effect, the 5.9 million women of reproductive age in Texas will be left with only 10 health centers that provide safe, legal abortion in the entire state.  

While abortion is an extremely safe procedure, it is safest earlier in pregnancy. With a President Cruz, women could be forced to undergo more dangerous procedures later in pregnancy, for political—and not medical—reasons.  His policies would harm women.

Ted Cruz wants to cut insurance coverage of birth control

  • His positions:

  • What his positions actually mean:

    • Ted Cruz’s policies would make it more expensive and harder to access birth control -- which would have far-reaching consequences for millions of women.

    • Eliminating the Affordable Care Act would end the birth control benefit --- thanks to which, more than 55 million women have birth control without a copay.  

    • A recent study published in Health Affairs found that the Affordable Care Act has saved women $1.4 billion a year on birth control pills alone — showing the clear economic impact that access to no co-pay birth control has had on women’s lives.  Ted Cruz wants to eliminate those savings.

    • Birth control has meant more educational and economic options for women. Since the 1960s when oral contraceptives became available the number of women in the U.S. labor force has nearly  tripled, and the number of women who complete four or more years of college is six times what it was before birth control became legal.

    • Birth control has helped women move closer to economic equity. Research finds that availability of the pill is responsible for a third of women’s wage increases relative to men. By the 1980s and ’90s, the women who had early access to the pill were making eight percent more each year than those who did not.

Ted Cruz wants to cut access to health care at Planned Parenthood -- threatening millions

  • His positions:

    • He’d rather shut down the government then allow Planned Parenthood patients -- many of whom are low-income and have no other options -- receive access to birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment.

    • He has voted three times to block patients from accessing services at Planned Parenthood

    • He has stated that one of his first acts as President would be to have the Department of Justice investigate Planned Parenthood

  • What his positions actually mean:

    • Cutting access to care at Planned Parenthood has had devastating consequences in the past. Ted Cruz has show that he’d rather shut down the entire government then allow Americans to access their health care at Planned Parenthood.

    • In many areas across the country, Planned Parenthood is the only place people can go to receive affordable, high-quality reproductive health care. Cutting access to care would leave hundreds of thousands of patients with no where else to go.

    • Three quarters of Planned Parenthood patients are at or below 150% of the poverty line. Many of them would be unable to access affordable health care anywhere else.

    • After a Scott County, Indiana Planned Parenthood health center was forced to shut its doors in 2013, the community was left with nowhere to turn for HIV testing and education. Now the county is facing an unprecedented HIV outbreak, which Governor Mike Pence deemed an “epidemic.”

    • After Texas, after the state prevented Planned Parenthood health centers from participating in its family planning program for low-income women, the program saw a steep decline in patients receiving services.