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TO: Interested Parties 

FROM: Catherine Welker, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

DATE: December 27, 2011

RE: Women Are Wondering:  Why Are GOP Candidates Continuing to Attack Women’s Health One Week Before the Iowa Caucus?


As several GOP presidential candidates (Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry) participate in Personhood USA’s National Presidential Pro-Life Forum later tonight, women are wondering:  why are they attacking women’s health?

As the New York Times put it, “The ‘personhood amendment,’ granting legal rights to human embryos, might have seemed to be a political nonstarter after voters in Mississippi, arguably the most conservative and anti-abortion state in the nation, rejected such a proposal last month.”

Personhood USA is the same group that pushed the personhood initiative that was widely rejected in Mississippi last month.

And even though Mitt Romney won’t be participating, he might as well be, since he is just as extreme on women’s health as his fellow GOP presidential candidates.  Romney:  I Would ‘Absolutely’ Support State Constitutional Amendment To Define Life As Beginning At Conception

In another blow to the personhood initiative, last week a Nevada judge “slammed the Nevada Prolife Coalition for inadequately describing the impact of defining a person as ‘every human being at all stages of biological development before birth.’  He ordered that the measure be rewritten to note all potential ramifications of the proposed constitutional change, including restrictions on common birth control methods, in vitro fertilization treatment, and embryonic stem cell research.” (AP, 12/19/11)

The simple fact is, the more the GOP presidential candidates campaign on “personhood,” the more they will be out of sync with the position of key voting groups needed to win the presidency — including women voters, young voters, and moderate voters.

These voters don’t want politicians to play politics with women’s health.

That’s why Planned Parenthood Action Fund has launched Women are Watching, its campaign to educate, engage, and activate supporters across the country for the 2012 elections.

It includes an aggressive social media campaign, with @ppact using the hashtag #women2012 to engage supporters on key women’s health issues.

The campaign’s website, womenarewatching.org, showcases women’s health “Chumps,” drawing attention to Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and others for their dangerous positions on women’s health.