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WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood Action Fund made its first endorsement of the 2016 cycle today, vowing to help re-elect women’s health champion Patty Murray to the U.S. Senate. Senator Murray is a steadfast advocate for women and families in Washington State and across the nation and has played a critical role in both protecting and advancing access to women’s reproductive health care. Like the majority of Americans, Senator Patty Murray understands that these are decisions that belong between a woman and her doctor — not politicians.

“Nobody is more deserving of our endorsement than Senator Patty Murray, a true champion for women and families and fierce advocate for the one-in-five women that rely on Planned Parenthood health centers at some point in their lifetime,” said Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Now more than ever we need champions like Senator Murray in Congress to stand up against an extreme agenda to ban safe and legal abortion. Not only has Senator Murray worked to defeat deeply unpopular political attacks on women’s health, but she’s also championed several key pieces of legislation to ensure women and families have the tools they need to succeed at home and at work.”

Senator Patty Murray has a 100 percent on the Planned Parenthood congressional scorecard for votes she’s taken to stand up to political attacks on women’s health care and ensure the country continues moving forward on issues that matter deeply to women, including access to preventive health care, affordable birth control, and access to safe and legal abortion. Throughout her tenure, Senator Murray has championed several pieces of pro-women’s health legislation, including legislation to protect women’s access to no-copay birth control no matter where they work; a common-sense measure that would help ensure working women and families are able to take paid sick leave; and the 21st Century Women’s Health Act, which embraces all of the progress that has been made for women and in public health by building upon all of the successes and ensuring that women will continue to have access to the full range of reproductive health care, among others.

We thank Senator Patty Murray for her steadfast commitment to reproductive health and justice. From the ‘Mom in Tennis Shoes’ to one of the most powerful members of the United States Senate, Senator Murray has stood up for women and families for her entire career. That's why Planned Parenthood advocacy and political groups are proud to stand with her,” said Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest. “Senator Murray has never wavered in her commitment to ensure women can make their own health care decisions without political interference, and has played a critical role in protecting access to safe and legal abortion and expanding access to affordable reproductive health care. We are thrilled to have such a strong champion fighting for women and families in Washington state and across the nation.”

In Patty Murray’s own words:

  • On the deeply unpopular Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby: "Women should call the shots when it comes to their health care decisions — not their boss, not the government, not anyone else, period."
  • On the importance of the Affordable Care Act and it’s advancements for women: "Because of this law women are now in charge of their health care, not their insurance companies. That is why I feel very strongly that we cannot go back to the way things were. While we can never stop working to make improvements, we owe it to the women of America to make progress and not allow the clock to be rolled back on their health care needs."
  • On Congressional attacks on safe, legal abortion: “I’d like to think that over the last 40 years —since the historic decision in Roe v. Wade—we’ve moved on from debating this issue. I’d like to think that after four decades, many of those who want to make women’s health care decisions for them have come to grips with the fact that Roe v. Wade is settled law.”
  • On her efforts to protect access to abortion: "In the 21st century, there is no reason a woman should be prevented from exercising her constitutionally guaranteed right to make her own choices about her own body. That is something I could not feel more strongly about, and I am going to keep working to not only protect that right but expand and improve access to care for women across the country."

Impact in Washington state:

  • In 2012, 429,910 women in Washington State were in need of publicly supported contraception; and thanks to the Affordable Care Act 1,094,000 now have access without a copay.
  • In the absence of the publicly supported family planning services provided at safety-net health care providers like Planned Parenthood, the rates of unintended pregnancy, unplanned birth and abortion would be 43 percent higher in Washington, and the teen pregnancy rate would be 67 percent higher.
  • In Washington, the publicly funded family planning services provided at safety-net health centers in 2010 helped save $269,911,000 in public funds. Nationally, studies show that for every public dollar invested in family planning programs, taxpayers save approximately $7.
  • With 39 percent of Planned Parenthood health centers providing care in rural or medically underserved areas statewide, Planned Parenthood serves as an essential source of primary and preventive healthcare in Washington state.
  • In 2013, the 32 Planned Parenthood health centers located in Washington served 119,208 patients.
    • Conducted 80,648 tests for chlamydia — the leading cause of preventable infertility - that resulted in 4,582 positive results and follow-up treatment.
    • Performed 17,124 breast exams.
    • Provided 100,599 patients with birth control services.

About Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

Planned Parenthood affiliates provide health care to 2.7 million patients every year — including lifesaving cancer screenings, preventive health care, birth control, and abortion services. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading women’s health provider and advocate. Planned Parenthood Action Fund works to ensure that people continue to have access to those health care and education services — by advocating for laws and policies that protect women’s health, and educating voters about how candidates’ positions would affect women’s health.