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Speaking Lineup Is a “Who’s Who” of Anti-Women’s Health Politicians

WASHINGTON, DC — As the Republican National Convention gets underway tonight, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund is educating voters about what’s at stake for women’s health in this election by highlighting policies of the Romney/Ryan ticket and the Republican Party that are dangerous for women and their families.   

“The Republican platform and the speaker lineup for the Republican National Convention demonstrate a fundamental disregard for women and women’s health,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “While I’m sure most of these politicians speaking in support of the Romney/Ryan ticket will avoid highlighting their long record of opposition to women’s health, Planned Parenthood Action Fund is going to make sure voters know how dangerous their agenda is.”

Americans — including the majority of mainstream Republicans — believe that politics have no place in a woman’s personal medical decisions. Those decisions should be left to her, her family, her faith, and her doctor or health care provider.

“This election is about the economic issues that the majority of American families care about, which include access to health care and family planning and the ability for women to make their own decisions about their health,” said Randy Moody, co-chair of Republicans for Planned Parenthood. “Unfortunately, there is a faction within the Republican Party whose priorities are out of step with the majority of Republicans and the American people when it comes to these issues. The nearly three million people who go to Planned Parenthood health centers in a year aren’t going there to make a political statement — they’re going there because they want high-quality health care. If this isn’t personal responsibility, I don’t know what is.”

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have vowed to overturn Roe v. Wade, have said they support extreme “personhood” measures that would give full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs, have vowed to defund Planned Parenthood’s preventive health care including cancer screenings and birth control, and have promised to shut down the nation’s family planning program that more than five million people a year rely on for birth control, cancer screenings and other care.

“The fact is, the more voters learn about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s record and positions on women’s health, the more appalled they are. That’s why you won’t hear tonight’s speakers — many of whom are close advisors to Romney and Ryan — highlighting their anti-women’s health agenda,” said Richards.

Tonight’s speaking lineup includes a variety of politicians aligned closely with Mitt Romney who have deeply troubling records on women’s health, including

  • Former Senator Rick Santorum, who among many other things, once warned of “the dangers of contraception,” said that it’s “not okay,” and furthermore said the states should have a right to ban its use. After repeatedly touting his extreme position that abortion should be banned, even in cases of rape or incest, he told rape survivors to “make the best of a bad situation.”
  • Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who signed a mandatory ultrasound bill into law in March, which caused a national uproar. The law is an outrageous example of government overreach — requiring every woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound performed at least 24 hours in advance. Additionally, during the 2011 General Assembly McDonnell fast-tracked a backdoor attempt to ban abortion in the state by pushing for excessive and onerous Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP) legislation to limit women’s access to comprehensive care.
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who ended his state’s family planning program this year, and is so passionate about blocking funding for birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings that he vetoed funding for essential women’s health services for the fourth time in July 2012.
  • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who signed three anti-women’s health bills into law in one day, including one that attacked comprehensive sex education.
  • South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who vetoed a bill that would have provided $453,680 for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention because she thinks “these special add-on lines distract from the agency's broader mission of protecting South Carolina's public health.”