“We know that when women are strong, families are strong.  When families are strong, countries are strong.  So this is about more than just unleashing the full potential of women.” — Hillary Clinton at Women in the World keynote.

During her keynote at the Women in the World conference Thursday, Hillary Clinton brought welcome attention to an issue that has too long been over simplified by political pundits and pollsters alike: that reproductive health is not separate from economic concerns — they are deeply linked in women’s lives. At Planned Parenthood Action Fund, this is what we hear from women every day. We know that when women can decide whether and when to have children, they are more able to pursue an education and achieve economic security.

Some critical excerpts from Clinton’s speech:

  • We know that when women are strong, families are strong.  When families are strong, countries are strong.  So this is about more than just unleashing the full potential of women.
  • It is also hard to believe that so many women are still paid less than men for the same work, with even wider gaps for women of color.
  • You know, our mothers and sisters and daughters are on the frontlines of all these battles, but these are not just women's fights, these have to be America's fights and the world's fights. We have to take them on, we have to win them together, and we have to have leaders who recognize that the time has come.
  • Yet there are those who offer themselves as leaders who take a very different view, who offer themselves as leaders who see nothing wrong with denying women equal pay, who offer themselves as leaders who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning, and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Hillary Clinton understands that reproductive health care and family planning options are directly related to women’s economic security. To women and families — these two things are inherently connected and we’re glad to see that Hillary Clinton is making this a focal point of her campaign.

“Like Hillary Clinton, we believe all women  no matter where they live or how much money they make  deserve a fair shot and a chance to pursue their dreams. That begins with recognizing that for women, the ability to decide whether and when to have children is key to economic success.

Clinton’s record and commitment to empowering women and girls is in stark contrast to GOP presidential contenders so far who have records of attempting to restrict access to safe and legal abortion, affordable birth control, and women's health care providers like Planned Parenthood, which would prevent millions of low-income women from getting cancer screenings, birth control, and other basic health care.”

You can view a video from Planned Parenthood Action Fund highlighting the extreme positions of Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio here: https://twitter.com/PPact/status/591624762587217920

You can learn more about their records here: http://www.womenarewatching.org/2016-presidential-candidates

Planned Parenthood Action Fund plays an increasingly influential role in state and national elections, educating voters about candidates’ positions and how those positions would affect women’s health. In the 2008 and 2012 elections, Planned Parenthood Action Fund helped make women’s health one of the top issues of contrast between candidates in key races and one of the top motivating issues for key voting groups, including single women (especially single women of color).

  • Polling from the 2012 election shows that access to safe and legal abortion, affordable birth control, and basic health care access are motivating voting issues for women, who view them as core economic issues for their families.  An overwhelming majority of women voters trust Planned Parenthood political and advocacy organizations when they speak out about issues affecting the health of women.
  • 2012 post-election report from the Sunlight Foundation on big winners and losers found that the Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes had a 98 percent return on investment — having supported 12 winning candidates and opposing 12 losing candidates.

Additional facts:

  • For young women in America, the idea that pregnancy alone will determine their destiny is unthinkable today. They fully expect that birth control, and yes, safe and legal abortion, will be available to them — and they should. In fact, according to Pew research, four out of five people in this country reject the idea that women should go back to “traditional roles.”
  • More than half of all American women voters ages 18 to 34 report having struggled with the cost of birth control at some point, and as a result, have used birth control inconsistently. That’s why we need leaders who support birth control without a copay — something Clinton supports and the current field of GOP nominees does not.
  • Sixty-eight percent of women voters say that politicians who support the Hobby Lobby decision, like many of the GOP hopefuls, are out of touch with them and their everyday lives.
  • According to a report from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, two-thirds of young Republicans say that “every adult woman should have access to affordable, effective birth control because it gives people a chance to build families on their own terms. Sixty-five percent of young Republicans who use birth control support the requirement that insurance companies cover contraception without additional out-of-pocket costs for consumers; 62 percent support providing more educational programs and campaigns for young adults about all methods of birth control.
  • recent survey from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute found that a full 71 percent of millennials find it morally acceptable to use contraception, while 9 percent said it was morally wrong. About 78 percent want to make all forms of legal contraception available on college campuses, and 81 percent want to make sure women who can’t afford contraception have access to it.
  • Nearly 80 percent of the American public wants to ensure that abortion remains safe and legal; and three in ten women have had a safe, legal abortion at some point in their lifetimes. By double digits, voters in South Dakota have twice rejected ballot initiatives that would have banned abortion. So-called personhood ballot initiatives were rejected in November by large majorities in both Colorado and in North Dakota, where voters also defeated one of the bills’ key sponsors.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planned Parenthood media line at [email protected].