TO:     Interested Parties
DATE:     Thursday, August 6, 2015

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Tonight we can expect to watch the entire GOP presidential field double down on the losing politics of taking health care away from millions of American women. Despitethreenationalpolls in two weeks that show the majority of American voters stand with Planned Parenthood, veto threats by President Obama, a failed vote in the Senate, and now Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s insistence on “no more government shutdowns,” key Republican leaders and candidates show no signs of slowing their unrelenting march toward shutting down the government in order to block millions of women from accessing birth control and cancer screenings.

However, these latest attacks against women’s health are nothing new. In the past they not only had devastating consequences for women across the country — they’ve cost Republican candidates the election.

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

“Every single candidate on stage tonight has the same losing agenda: They want to overturn Roe v. Wade, block Planned Parenthood from providing preventive health care to millions of women, cut back programs that have saved women $1.4 billion in birth control costs, and let insurance companies refuse to cover birth control and mammograms.

“We know the American public doesn’t support defunding Planned Parenthood or restricting women’s health care — three national polls in the last two weeks now have said as much. The real question we should ask tonight is just how far these candidates think they can swing to the extreme right before they alienate the majority of the American public.

“The recent attacks on Planned Parenthood by anti-abortion extremists are nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse for these politicians to show off their anti-woman agendas. This is about their radical and unpopular agenda to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood — something every candidate on stage advocated before these fraudulent, discredited videos were released, and something they will continue to advocate long after this latest attack fades away.”

Here are five things you should know before tonight’s main debate:

1. Attacks against Planned Parenthood are incredibly unpopular:An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this week further underscored that Americans stand with Planned Parenthood — showing that Planned Parenthood rates most favorable with American voters — higher than both political parties, the NRA, the Supreme Court, and all leading 2016 presidential candidates. It underscores another recentnational poll from Hart Research, which showed that a majority of American voters not only oppose defunding Planned Parenthood, but see opposition to Planned Parenthood and the care it provides as a reason to vote against a candidate for office, as well as aYouGov poll released yesterday that shows a majority of Americans have a favorable opinion of Planned Parenthood.

2. Nevertheless, GOP candidates have continued to double down on their attacks on women’s health. Both Rand Paul and Chris Christie have recently released ads specifically attacking Planned Parenthood. GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have called for a government shutdown if Congress and President Obama refuse to block Planned Parenthood’s nonprofit health centers from serving the millions of individuals who rely on publicly funded health care programs. Mike Huckabee threatened to send armed guards in to prevent women from accessing safe and legal abortions. Candidate Ben Carson said that if Planned Parenthood isn’t defunded “we are lost. We are just in the wilderness forever…” and Rick Santorum has said that Planned Parenthood — which actually provides cancer screenings to its patients, is a “cancer in this country.”

3. These attacks are not new — every single candidate has a history of going well beyond the mainstream when it comes to women’s health. Below are a few of the restrictions they have passed, or publicly supported, when it comes to women’s health.


Jeb Bush:

  • As governor, Bush signed at least SIX anti-abortion measures into law, and in 2003 declared that he was "probably the most pro-life governor in modern times.” He advocated for andsigned targeted restrictions on abortion providers.

  • Intervened to prevent developmentally disabled rape victims from accessing abortion. As governor, Bush aggressively intervened intwohigh-profile cases to prevent a developmentally disabled rape victim and a young woman, who was a ward of the state and became pregnant after running away from another state group home, from being able to access safe, legal abortion. In one of those cases, he tried to get a state-appointed legal guardian for the young woman’s fetus.

  • Cut funds for women’s health, and funnelled money into ineffective abstinence-only programs. Jeb Bushfunnelled millions of taxpayer dollars into abstinence-only programs, while cutting funds for crucial family planning programs that health centers like Planned Parenthood provide.

 

Marco Rubio:

  • Marco Rubio is adamantly anti-abortion. Marco Rubio has said that he is adamantly against abortion “even if 100 percent of my constituents were for it,” and when he was running for U.S. Senate in 2010bragged about championing a bill that requires women to undergo a government-mandated ultrasound before getting a safe, legal abortion.

  • Rubio supports denying women birth control and emergency contraception. Rubiowould allow hospitals or health care providers to deny women emergency contraception, a safe and effective form of birth control, and would also allow bossesto deny their employees insurance coverage for birth control.

  • Rubio would cut access to health care. Rubio wouldrepeal the Affordable Care Act and its historic advancements for women, and he has votedtwotimes to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide health care to nearly 80,000 people in Florida, with 61 percent of health centers providing care in rural or medically underserved areas.

 

Scott Walker:

  • Twelve measures to restrict women’s health. Since becoming governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker has signed twelve anti-women’s health measures into law, including most recently, a 20-week abortion ban — which he specifically insisted NOT include exceptions for rape or incest — a law opposed by leading doctors and medical groups across Wisconsin and which media outletshave deemed “cruel.

  • Wants to ban abortion — without exceptions. Scott Walker has said he wants to ban abortion with no exceptions for rape incest or for the life of a woman. He has already passed five laws that directly threaten a woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions about her pregnancy, including laws that threaten doctors with felony charges for providing abortion, require physicians to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and block women from getting private insurance coverage for abortion.

  • Cut women’s access to health care in Wisconsin. Not only has Scott Walker made Wisconsin one of the most difficult states to access safe and legal abortion, he also ended Planned Parenthood’s 16-year contract with the state to provide breast and cervical cancer screenings under the state’s well-woman program and forced the closure of five rural Planned Parenthood health centers, resulting in the disruption and loss of over 18,800 health care services for approximately 3,100 patients including lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, annual exams, pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment, HIV screening, and referrals to a network of community resources.

 

John Kasich:

  • Eleven restrictions against women’s health. John Kasich opposes abortion and has signed at least eleven anti-women’s health provisions into law as governor of Ohio, including a provision banning publicly funded hospitals and clinics from performing abortions, and a measure requiring the Ohio Department of Health to annually apply for federal funds for abstinence-only programs.

  • Under Gov. Kasich’s administration, nearly halfof Ohio’s abortion clinics have closed in recent years, according to the Toledo Blade. And the situation could get even worse for Ohio women, with only nine providers left in the state. Not only that, but John Kasich has worked to attack access to Planned Parenthood and the preventive care that health centers provide, including birth control and cancer screenings.

  • Used his political power to appoint anti-abortion activists. John Kasich used his political power to appoint the president of Ohio Right to Life, a group dedicated to banning safe, legal abortion, as a member of the State Medical Board, a body tasked with protecting and enhancing the “health and welfare of Ohio’s citizens.” Michael Gonidakis is currently the president of the Ohio Right to Life organization, and previously served as the campaign manager for two pro-life judges.

 

Donald Trump:

  • Wants to ban safe and legal abortion. Donald Trump wants to ban safe and legal abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and for the life of the woman. He’s said about being pro-life, “I’m pro-life. I think that's a big social issue.’’

  • Won’t protect access to affordable birth control. Donald Trump says he wants to repealthe Affordable Care Act saying he would kill the Affordable Care Act with the stroke of a pen on his first day in office if he were president. The Affordable Care Act ensures that women have access to birth control pills without a co-pay.

  • Would shut down the government rather than fund Planned Parenthood. Trump has also said he would defund Planned Parenthood, go so far as to say he he believes that Republicans should shut down the government rather than fund Planned Parenthood.

 

Mike Huckabee:

  • Would use federal troops to prevent women from accessing safe and legal abortion. GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has said he is open to the idea of using federal troops and the FBI to stop women from having abortions. Mike Huckabee has said a lot of insulting things about women, most notably his comment that the Affordable Care Act’s provision giving women access to no-copay birth control was created because women “cannot control their own libido.”

  • Wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. Mike Huckabee has said it wouldmost certainly be a good day if Roe v. Wade were overturned — ending a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion — and as governor, he signed several anti-women’s health bills, including a bill that would criminalize doctors for providing abortion and another that requires women to listen to a state-mandated script before they could get a safe, legal abortion.   

  • Advocated for personhood legislation. Mike Huckabee has advocated for and endorsedextreme “personhood” legislation which would ban abortion and could interfere with access to some of the most effective forms of birth control.

 

Ben Carson:

  • Has equated abortion to “slavery.” Ben Carson has advocated for banning safe and legal abortion, and has gone so far as tocompare abortion to “slavery.”

  • Supports denying women access to birth control. Ben Carsonsupports allowing for-profit businesses like Hobby Lobby to deny their employees access to birth control.

  • Wants to eliminate Medicaid. Ben Carson says he wants toeliminate Medicaid and Medicare, which would have a disproportionate impact on women, specifically women of color and low-income women already struggling to make ends meet.

 

Ted Cruz:

  • Wants to ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. According to theHouston Chronicle, “Cruz would allow abortion only in cases in which the mother’s life is in jeopardy: ‘Every human life is a precious gift from God and should be protected in law from conception until natural death.’”

  • Cruz believes that birth control is an “abortion-inducing drug.” Despite medical evidence to the contrary,at the 2014 Values Voter Summit, Cruztold the crowd that the Obama administration is forcing religious organizations like Little Sisters of the Poor to provide "abortion inducing drugs" as part of the birth control benefit.

  • Ted Cruz wants to abolish the IRS and one of the reasons why is because he believes the IRS protects Planned Parenthood. “Apparently the job of the IRS is to play the enforcer in protecting Planned Parenthood... I’ve got a simple solution for you,we need to abolish the IRS.”

 

Rand Paul

  • Supports personhood legislation. While in the United States Senate, Rand Paul has worked toadvanceextreme “personhood” legislation which would ban safe and legal abortion and could interfere with access to some of the most effective forms of birth control.

  • Would deny women access to emergency contraception and birth control. Rand Paul alsoworked to allow hospitals or health care providers to deny women emergency contraception, a safe and effective form of birth control, and to allow bosses to deny their employees insurance coverage for birth control.

  • Opposes equal pay legislation. Rand Paul also has worked toprevent women from getting equal pay for equal work.

 

Chris Christie

  • Opposes money for family planning. Christie has vetoed New Jersey’s family planning program — $7.5 million that provided lifesaving care like breast exams and Pap tests to more than 136,000 patients in 2009 — SEVEN years in a row. As a result, New Jersey’s family planning providers have seen almost 33,000 fewer patients — a 25 percent drop in patients served. Clinics have been forced to close, and others have had to cut back on hours or increase waiting periods.

  • Accused of “pandering to conservatives.” Even his home state’s leading newspaper hadharsh words for the presidential hopeful: “Gov. Chris Christie finally admit[ted] he was flat-out lying about his reasons for vetoing funding to Planned Parenthood...He was pandering to conservatives who detest Planned Parenthood, at the expense of women's health.”

  • Governor Christie has repeatedly blocked reforms that would support equal pay for women. Back in 2012, Christie blockedtwo billsthat would make it easier for women to learn if they are being discriminated against and recover the back pay they are owed. He did the same thingagain in 2014. Christiecalled one of the bills a “senseless bureaucracy." In New Jersey, women make80 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts. That disparity is larger for women of color.

 

4. These attacks have had devastating consequences in their home states. In states where restrictions have passed, women and men have seen devastating consequences.

 

Florida:

  • In astudy of all 50 states’ health care policies known to improve the health and well-being of women and children, Jeb Bush’s home state of Florida is tied for last place for women’s health.

  • According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 34 percent of Florida’s 67 counties do not have any ob-gyns.

  • In 2012,1,199,480 womenin Florida were in need of publicly supported contraception; and thanks to the Affordable Care Act more than1,801,000 now have access without a copay.

  • In the absence of the publicly supported family planning services provided at safety-net health centers like Planned Parenthood, the rates of unintended pregnancy, unplanned birth and abortion would be28 percent higher in Florida, and the teen pregnancy rate would be 37 percent higher.

  • In Florida, the publicly funded family planning services provided at safety-net health centers in 2010 helped save$260,272,000 in public funds.

 

Wisconsin:

  • In 2011, Walker ended the organization’s 16-year contract with the state to provide breast and cervical cancer screenings under the state’s well-woman program and forced the closure of five rural Planned Parenthood health centers, resulting in the disruption and loss of over 18,800 health care services for approximately 3,100 patients including lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, well-woman exams, pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment, HIV screening, and referrals to a network of community resources.

  • You can watch a video from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin featuring a real woman's story about the impact that this ban would haveHERE and a recent Politifactmaking clear that he is the most restrictive on abortion among Reagan and other GOP presidents.

 

Ohio:

 

Texas:

  • In Texas, after the state cut Planned Parenthood health centers out of its family planning program for low-income women,the program served far fewer women. Indeed,more than half of Texas women surveyed in a recent study reported the existence of at least one barrier in their access to reproductive health care services, citing the prohibitive cost of services and a lack of local providers among other barriers, with a particularly alarming impact on young, low-income, Spanish-speaking, and immigrant women.

  • One report showed that 55 percent of Texas women reported at least one barrier to accessing reproductive health care, including lifesaving cancer screenings or family planning services. Nearly 40 percent of women reported two or more barriers. Read moreHERE from Texas Policy Evaluation Project.

  • A study published in theAmerican Journal of Public Health found that the state’s family planning programserved 54% fewer patientsas a result of the 2011 budget cuts and tiered funding scheme. The researchers went on to write: “The tiered funding system placed organizations that had the greatest amount of experience providing these methods at a disadvantage and instead favored those that did not offer these methods as widely to their clients.”

  • In January, the State of Texas Health and Human Services Commission issued agrim  reportrevealing that 30,000 fewer womenreceived health care through the Texas Women’s Health Program (WHP) in 2013 than in 2011, following the state’s takeover of the program in order to ban Planned Parenthood. The Dallas Morning Newsreported that “the areas with the highest drops in the number of women served by the WHP occurred in areas where Planned Parenthood clinics shuttered.”

 

Kentucky:

  • In 2012,281,200 women in Kentucky were in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies; and thanks to the Affordable Care Act401,000 Kentucky women now have access to birth control without a copay.

  • In the absence of the publicly supported family planning services provided at family planning centers, therates of unintended pregnancy, unplanned birth and abortion would be 68 percent higher in Kentucky; and the teen pregnancy rate would be 45 percent higher.

  • In 2010,34,000 Kentucky residents had an unintended pregnancy, a rate of 40 per 1,000 women aged 15–44. These unintended pregnancies cost the state and federal governments $377.9 million.

  • According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 63 percent of Kentucky’s 120 counties do not have any ob-gyns.

 

New Jersey:

  • In 2013, New Jersey’s family planning providers saw almost 33,000 fewer patients compared with 2010 — a 25 percent drop in patients served.

  • According to aneditorial in the state’s leading newspaper: “Six clinics were forced to close, and others had to cut back on hours or increase waiting periods. And none of the money was even being used for abortions. Christie cut it simply because some of it was going to facilities that also perform the procedure. He was pandering to conservatives who detest Planned Parenthood, at the expense of women's health.”

 

5. Not only do restrictions on women’s health have a devastating impact on women, they have a history of losing Republicans elections.

 

Per the Washington Post:

 

“[In 2012, anti-abortion candidates] blew two winnable Senate races with comments about rape and abortion, as Mitt Romney lost women by double digits. Republicans were much more cautious in 2014, even running commercials touting their support for widely-available birth control. Using the embarrassing undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials, another of which came out yesterday, social conservatives have convinced GOP operatives that this will be a winner in 2016. A handful of Republicans running for president are now threatening to shut down the federal government this fall to try cutting off Planned Parenthood, which is already barred from using federal funds to pay for abortion.”

 

“Bottom line: The GOP does not have the numbers to ultimately succeed, as demonstrated by a test vote on Monday, and it is inconceivable that there would not be more inartful comments like Jeb’s during a prolonged legislative battle.”

 

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