Washington, DC – President Obama’s reelection is a historic victory for women’s health, driven by a substantial gender gap, Planned Parenthood said tonight.
"This is a resounding victory for women. More than ever before, women’s health was a decisive issue in this election. Americans today voted to ensure that women will have access to affordable health care and be able to make their own medical decisions," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
"This election sends a powerful and unmistakable message to members of Congress and state legislatures all around the country that the American people do not want politicians to meddle in our personal medical decisions, and that politicians demean and dismiss women at their own peril," Richards said.
Women’s health issues have played a defining role in this election, with preliminary data showing candidates and advocates nationwide aired broadcast ads 46,141 times highlighting the issues – a 350 percent increase in spending from 2008. Throughout the campaign, these issues have presented one of the starkest contrasts between President Obama and Mitt Romney. Obama vowed to fully implement the Affordable Care Act and ensure that millions of women get preventive care at no cost, require insurance companies to cover birth control, protect funding for Planned Parenthood and federal family planning programs, and protect access to safe and legal abortion. Romney took the opposite position on all of these issues, and then tried unsuccessfully to cast himself as more of a moderate on women’s health in the final weeks of the campaign.
In addition to the central role that access to Planned Parenthood’s health care services played throughout the campaign, Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched an unprecedented effort to educate and mobilize the women’s vote in key states. Following are key facts on Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s campaign over the last year:
- The Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes invested more than $15 million dollars to educate voters in key battleground states, employing television and radio ads, direct mail, online ads, tele-townhalls, and a variety of other methods.
- All of the messaging throughout the Planned Parenthood Action Fund campaign focused on Mitt Romney’s positions in his own words – to repeal the birth control insurance benefit, repeal coverage for preventive care, eliminate the nation’s family planning program, defund Planned Parenthood, and overturn Roe v. Wade – contrasted with President Obama’s strong record for women’s health.
- Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes also invested in 20 Senate, Congressional, and gubernatorial races to elect candidates with strong records and positions on women’s health.
- In the final four days of the campaign, the Action Fund and local Planned Parenthood advocacy organizations collectively ran neighborhood canvasses in 22 states and phone banking operations in 24 states. In just these four days, the groups made more than 845,000 calls, knocked on more than 100,000 doors, and organized more than 2,000 volunteers in key states including Virginia, Ohio, Montana, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
"Planned Parenthood Action Fund fought hard in this campaign to protect the programs and policies that millions of Americans, especially women, rely on to lead healthy lives,” Richards said. “We will focus on working with lawmakers at all levels, from all political parties, to ensure that millions more Americans can get the health care they need, while Planned Parenthood health centers provide the essential health care that one in five American women has relied on Planned Parenthood for at some point in their lives."
Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its 74 affiliates nationwide are underscoring their commitment to helping women, men, and young people lead healthy lives with a new tagline “Care. No matter what.” The refreshed logo and new tagline, which went live earlier today on websites and social media properties, are part of Planned Parenthood’s ongoing effort to reach millions more patients with quality, affordable, confidential health care. Already, nearly three million people a year rely on Planned Parenthood’s nearly 800 health centers for a range of health care services, including breast cancer screenings, Pap tests, birth control, and STD testing and treatment.
"As a trusted and essential provider of health care in every part of the country, Planned Parenthood stands ready to serve the millions of people who will soon have access to health care under the Affordable Care Act – to provide millions more with care, no matter what," Richards said.