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Washington, DC -- Planned Parenthood Action Fund released the following statement after tonight’s first Democratic presidential debate:

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Tonight’s debate showcased the Democratic presidential candidates’ commitment to making sure that all women -- whether it’s women of color, working mothers, young girls, low income women, or CEOs -- should have equal pay for equal work, opportunities to quality education, and access to health care as well as the importance of paid family leave.  

“While the candidates focused on multiple significant challenges facing our nation tonight, make no mistake -- the issue of women’s access to the full range of reproductive care is on the 2016 presidential ballot and will be greatly impacted by the next President. Over the past few months, voters have had ample opportunity to hear the GOP candidates dismiss the importance of women’s access to health care, safe and legal abortion and federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Americans are eager to hear from Democratic candidates on where they stand on these critical issues and we hope the remaining debates reflect that.”

Notable moments in tonight’s debate include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stating her belief “in equal pay for equal work for women” and her belief that “it's about time we had paid family leave for American families and join the rest of the world.” Senator Bernie Sanders also echoed this statement by endorsing “pay equity for women” and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley stated that we would “be a stronger nation if we had paid family leave” and that “we find ways in every generation to include more of our people more fully in the economic life of our country.”

In an electrifying moment in the debate, Secretary Clinton stated,“It’s always the Republicans or sympathizers who say you can't have paid leave, you can't provide health care. They don't mind having big government interfere with a woman's right to choose and taking down Planned Parenthood. They're fine with big government when it comes to that. I’m sick of that. We can do these things.”