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Planned Parenthood Votes Intensifies Efforts to Educate Montana Voters on Rehberg’s Harmful Agenda for Women

Part of 2012 “Women to Women” Campaign to Re-Elect Pro-Women’s Health Senator Jon Tester

Two New Mailers Hitting Montana Mailboxes This Week

WASHINGTON — Planned Parenthood Votes is intensifying its “Women to Women” outreach to Montana voters this week with two new mailers — each hitting a universe of more than 45,000 households — that paint Dennis Rehberg as the candidate that “would turn back the clock on women.” The mailers are part of the group's largest ever voter outreach program in Montana, undertaken in partnership with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana to make sure every Montana woman understands the stark difference between Dennis Rehberg and Jon Tester when it comes to women, women’s health, and women’s economic security.

You can view this week’s “Turn Back the Clock” themed mailers here; and here.

The mailers are the third and fourth in the campaign thus far, and highlight Rehberg’s dismal record on women’s health issues including his votes to defund Planned Parenthood, to eliminate federal funding for 26 health centers in Montana, and to end the federally funded family planning program that provides lifesaving cancer screenings and preventive care to working women. 

Women’s issues have become a centerpiece of the race, and according to recent polling, Tester leads 45 percent to 43 percent (within margin of error), but wins the women's vote by a full six points (http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/PPP_Release_MT_1010121.pdf).

Yesterday, the candidates met for their third debate and according to The Associated Press, “Tester's primary attack of the evening was to slam Rehberg for seeking to end funding for women's health care clinics.”  On Saturday, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana held a pre-canvass rally at Rehberg’s bus tour stop in Great Falls. The group reports that the event turned out so many Planned Parenthood supporters with questions for Rehberg about his harmful agenda for women and women’s health that he didn’t even get off his bus.

“The difference between Dennis Rehberg and Jon Tester couldn’t be more stark when it comes to women, women’s health, and women’s economic security,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “This weekend, once again, Rehberg showed voters just how out of touch he is on issues important to women’s health. The more women learn about Dennis Rehberg’s record and positions on women’s health, the more appalled they are. Politics has no place in a woman’s personal medical decisions.  Women voters in Montana believe that, and in November their votes to re-elect Senator Jon Tester will reflect it.”

A recent poll out from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that many women nationwide truly fear efforts to control their reproductive health — and as a result more than 40 percent have taken action — talking to their friends and family, donating to a nonprofit working on reproductive health issues, and contacting their elected officials.

Representative Rehberg on the issues:

  • Voted to Defund Planned Parenthood. Congressman Rehberg voted to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, blocking the cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive health services nearly three million Americans rely on each year. Last year, Rehberg signed on as a co-sponsor to legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and limit the health care that one in five American women relies on at some point in her life. [H. Con. Res. 36, Roll Call vote 271,4/14/11; H.R. 217]
  • Worked to remove funding for cancer screenings. Rehberg voted for a bill that would have eliminated federal funding for 26 family planning clinics in Montana. That bill, H.R. 1, would have eliminated the Title X program, which has provided breast and cervical cancer screenings and other preventive health care to low-income women for more than 40 years. [H.R. 1,Roll Call Vote 147, 2/19/11]
  • Believes a woman’s boss can deny her access to birth control. Rehberg supported a measure that would have allowed employers and health care providers to deny any essential health care service they object to, including coverage for birth control. In addition, Rehberg co-sponsored a dangerous law that would have severely restricted birth control access for Montana women. [Billings Gazette, 3/1/12; H.R. 1179]

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