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WAW Highlights Women Will Make Difference in 2012 Election

Today, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund launches Women are Watching, its campaign to educate, engage, and activate supporters across the country for the 2012 elections.

The campaign launches with a website:  www.womenarewatching.org, as well as a robust social media program that engages more than 235,000 online supporters.

As part of the campaign, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund will run online banner ads highlighting women’s health “Champs” and “Chumps,” starting with ads drawing attention to Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Congress members Steve King (R-IA), Allen West (R-FL), Denny Rehberg (R-MT), and Todd Akin (R-MO) for their dangerous positions on women’s health. The ads can be seen here.

In this fast-paced digital world, information sharing is crucial.  The Women are Watching website provides a digital arena for women to collect and share information about what politicians are saying and doing about women’s health issues, and for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund to arm supporters with information and questions to ask at candidate events, town halls, and online.

“What’s clear is that women across the country do not think women’s health should come with a political label,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. 

“Women care about how politicians are playing politics with women’s health.  Last spring, when access to lifesaving care, birth control, and cancer screenings was under attack by Congress, Planned Parenthood supporters flocked to social media and spoke out in numerous ways.  Planned Parenthood signed up more than one million new supporters, who shared their personal stories online, flooded Facebook with the Planned Parenthood petition, and made viral videos in support.  That’s why we’ve launched Women are Watching — to give women a place to share their energy and important information regarding what’s at stake in the upcoming election.”

The Women are Watching campaign will empower supporters to share information with their friends and networks, take action, and ultimately vote to protect women’s health and expand access to care for all women in America.  And the more women’s health supporters know about the issues and the threats being made to their health and rights, the more they are motivated to get involved in the upcoming elections.

Jennifer, a Planned Parenthood Facebook fan from Texas, recently posted on Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Facebook page, “This time I’m going to vote.  I've never voted before, but there is no way I'm going to sit back and do nothing!  I care about the families in my state and they should have access to affordable reproductive healthcare!”

Recently, in the face of a political effort driven by women’s health opponents in Congress, more than 30,000 Planned Parenthood supporters sent an e-mail to the White House, encouraging the president to stand strong to protect birth control without co-pays — one of the most popular benefits of the health-care reform act. 

And just two weeks ago, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Facebook page posted a video taking Mitt Romney to task for supporting the dangerous and extreme “personhood” amendment being voted on in Mississippi today.  It became one of the most popular videos on the page, with more than 3,000 supporters “sharing” the video with their wider social networks.

It’s evident that women voters are engaged by what the candidates are saying about women’s health, and want to spread that information to their networks.

Women are Watching taps into the growing social media energy and enthusiasm and provides a hub of information for supporters to share with their friends, and friends of friends.

At all levels of government, the future of women’s health hangs in the balance.  In 2012, women have the power to choose which candidates will ultimately determine whether women’s health care will be supported and remain accessible, or whether the clock will be turned back on women’s health.  Women are Watching is the Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s tool to engage supporters and hold candidates of both parties accountable.