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Candidates’ positions on women’s health will be critical in 2016, impacting millions of women

WASHINGTON, DC – Planned Parenthood Action Fund applauded Hillary Clinton’s campaign speech today, where she made a clear distinction between her positions on women’s health and rights and those running for the GOP nomination that “shame and blame women rather than respect our rights.”

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

“This is a historic moment. There is no candidate for president with a stronger commitment to women or a clearer record on behalf of women’s health and rights than Hillary Clinton. She stands in stark contrast to the majority of GOP presidential contenders who are living in an episode of Mad Men and want to take women and their families backward.

“Women’s health and rights will be an important topic and point of contrast in this election. We need to keep moving forward on issues that matter deeply to women, including equal pay, access to preventive health care, affordable birth control, and access to safe and legal abortion.

“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. As Hillary Clinton made clear today, these are not women’s issues, they are family issues.”

Hillary Clinton’s record:

  • Hillary Clinton has a 100% on the Planned Parenthood Action Fund congressional scorecard for every single year she served as a United States Senator (2001-2009). During her terms in the Senate, Planned Parenthood Action Fund tracked 16 votes.
  • In the Senate, Hillary Clinton worked to expand access to family planning and comprehensive sex education, to beat back attacks on safe and legal abortion, and to ensure low-income women and those serving in the military had access to abortion. Clinton also waged a multi-year effort with Senator Patty Murray to get the FDA to make emergency contraception available over-the-counter.
  • As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was outspoken about the critical role of reproductive health, gender equality, and women's empowerment in supporting broader health, development, and foreign policy goals. She helped increase investments in international family planning programs and end harmful restrictions like the global gag rule. Clinton established the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which stated that women should be central to U.S. development and diplomacy, and launched the Office of Global Women’s Issues, which runs programs ranging from training rural health providers in Africa to assist victims of sexual violence, to addressing child marriage in Bangladesh. Clinton also started the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership, created to discuss the advancement of women in international business and economic policy and the Women in Public Service Project, to encourage more women to enter public service.
  • The Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation supports numerous programs and initiatives that empower women and girls around the world. Through theClinton Health Access Initiative, the foundation has helped improve the availability, affordability, and variety of family planning methods, and helped negotiate price reduction of implants to make them more accessible to more women around the world. The foundation also launched "No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project" an initiative that brings together partner organizations to evaluate and share the progress women and girls have made in the 20 years since the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Other global programs work to curb the transmission of HIV and AIDS, address issues like gender-based violence, and spur economic growth by supporting female entrepreneurs and artisans, among many others.

In Hillary Clinton’s own words:

  • Twenty years ago, Hillary Clinton made history and spoke for millions of American women when she stood up at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and proclaimed: “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” [YouTube, 9/5/95]
  • Clinton has long fought for access to safe and legal abortion, saying: “Family planning is an important part of women’s health, and reproductive health includes access to abortion.” [YouTube,  House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on foreign policy priorities in the Obama Administration 4/22/09]
  • In support of abortion access for low-income women, Clinton said: "I also support ensuring that poor women, like wealthy women, have access to the full range of affordable, safe and effective reproductive health care services, including abortion. That's why I have supported Medicaid funding of abortion." [The Associated Press, 10/28/00]
  • Clinton understands that policies need to embrace women and girls — not leave them behind. She has said, “I believe that women's rights and empowerment is an indispensable ingredient of smart power and therefore is integrated into our renewed emphasis on diplomacy and development.” [Remarks at Planned Parenthood Awards Gala, 3/27/09]
  • At Planned Parenthood’s annual gala in 2009, Clinton said: “The best way to ensure that women are not victimized by coercive government practices is to make sure that they have access to family planning. For those who care so deeply about reducing the abortion rate, the best way to make sure we reduce abortion is to provide access to safe family planning.” [Remarks at Planned Parenthood Awards Gala, 3/27/09]
  • In support of Planned Parenthood and family planning, Clinton has said: “The presence of voluntary family planning programs and support for reproductive rights has tangible benefits. And that is why I strongly support Planned Parenthood, and organizations that are on the front lines around the world.” [Remarks at Planned Parenthood Awards Gala, 3/27/09]
  • In 2008 when the Bush administration proposed a plan to define some types of birth control as abortion and cut off federal funds to hospitals and states where medical providers are obligated to offer legal abortion and contraception to women, Clinton said: “We will not put up with this radical, ideological agenda to turn the clock back on women's rights. Women would watch their contraceptive coverage disappear overnight.”  [Reuters, 7/18/08]
  • Clinton called the ruling on the Hobby Lobby case “deeply disturbing”: "It’s very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.” [Politico, 6/30/14]

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