Washington, DC — Today, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision with a bold and ambitious announcement: the political and advocacy arm of the nation’s most trusted reproductive health care provider will bring one million voters to the polls on Election Day 2008. Calling their program the “One Million Strong Campaign,” Planned Parenthood leaders outlined a grassroots effort that also seeks to elect a pro-choice president and win key elections up and down the ballot.
“Under President Bush, women have seen access to basic health care like birth control become increasingly unaffordable and inaccessible. They watched as the president appointed an anti-birth control hardliner to run the nation’s family planning program. And they’ve now seen the White House and the state governments pour more than $1.5 billion into ineffective and dangerous abstinence-until-marriage programs that do nothing to prevent unintended pregnancies,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
“To keep our doors open and continue serving the millions of Americans that come to Planned Parenthood every year for information and health services, it’s clear that we need to step into the electoral arena. That’s why we’re going to bring one million voters who care about women’s health to the polls to change things in 2008,” continued Richards. “Women voters and young adults already trust Planned Parenthood’s health information — and this year they’ll be able to rely on the Planned Parenthood Action Fund for election information.”
Planned Parenthood has a presence in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers reach millions of women, men and teens each year to provide vital information and medical services. One in four American women visits a Planned Parenthood health center sometime during her lifetime.
“Women and young people have proven to be decisive forces in the presidential contests so far, and health care remains a top domestic issue,” said pollster Geoff Garin. “Planned Parenthood has a unique ability to reach the voters that will decide this election and elect a pro-choice president.”
In the recent presidential contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, women and young people were decisive forces in the victories of Democratic presidential contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In New Hampshire, women comprised 57 percent of the Democratic electorate, driving record turnout. In Iowa, people aged 17–24 comprised nearly the same percentage of caucus-goers as those 30–44 and are credited with Obama’s win.
In addition to identifying, mobilizing and bringing one million voters to the polls, the One Million Strong Campaign aims to elect a pro-choice president and keep women’s health issues a priority in the campaign and the next administration. Read more about our One Million Strong campaign at www.plannedparenthoodvotes.org.