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WASHINGTON, DC — The majority of Americans want to protect access to birth control — unless you’re talking about the majority of Americans vying for the top of the 2016 GOP presidential ticket. On the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s deeply unpopular ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, here’s a look at where the Republican contenders for president stand. Follow the conversation on twitter using the hashtags #BirthControlHelpedMe and #NotMyCandidate.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“For millions of people, Hobby Lobby’s name is synonymous with one thing: wildly out-of-touch attacks on birth control. Every time Republican presidential contenders praise the ruling, they show that they’re wildly out-of-touch too.

“Birth control has been one of the single greatest advancements in women’s lives. It should go without saying that rolling back that progress is deeply unpopular. Yet unfortunately that seems to be a lesson that certain presidential candidates will have to learn the hard way.”

As outlined in the Action Fund’s new briefing paper, a substantial body of research confirms that birth control advances women’s economic empowerment. Today women overall earn about three-quarters of each dollar a man earns, but research indicates contraception has significantly narrowed that gap, accounting for 30 percent of the narrowing of the wage gap by the 1990s. Polling shows that 57 percent of female voters say that they would be more likely to support a candidate who opposes allowing employers to refuse to cover birth control. Thanks to the birth control benefit, more than 55 million women are now eligible for birth control without a copay. In the first year, American women and families saved $483 million on their birth control pill prescriptions alone thanks to this benefit.

On the heels of the Hobby Lobby decision, more than 250,000 people signed Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s “Join the Dissent" petition to send a message to lawmakers, employers, and the Supreme Court that our medical decisions belong to us, not our bosses.

On the candidates:

  • Chris Christie:  Following the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision, Chris Christie was asked if he was concerned that some New Jersey women could lose birth control coverage, to which he said “No.” When asked why not, he added, “Because I’m not.” [POLITICO, 7/13/14]
  • Jeb Bush: Bush has compared the Obama administration's effort to mandate health insurance coverage for contraceptives to “Big Brother.” As governor, Bush also funneled millions of taxpayer dollars into abstinence-only programs. [USA Today, 5/9/15]
  • Scott Walker: As governor, Walker has repeatedly tried to get rid of Wisconsin’s Contraceptive Equity law, which requires insurance companies to cover prescription birth control. [WI Office of the Commissioner of Insurance;  AB 216/SB 202, 5/23/13; WEAU.com, 11/7/13]
  • Bobby Jindal: “The Court has made clear today that the Obama administration's assault on religious freedom in this case went too far — but this assault will not stop, in our courts, in our schools, and in the halls of power. It will take believers who are willing to risk their fortunes and public ridicule and the modern slings and arrows to stand up for what's right.” [Gov. Bobby Jindal, 6/30/14]
  • Marco Rubio: In opposition to the birth control benefit, Rubio said “We must stop the unconstitutional mandate under ObamaCare that requires church-affiliated organizations to offer their workers private-insurance coverage without out-of-pocket charges for birth control….” [Sen. Marco Rubio, 3/1/12]
  • Carly Fiorina:  Fiorina supported the Hobby Lobby case and said that women “had plenty of access to birth control both before and after” the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, dismissing the impact that this case had on women who can now be denied birth control by their employers. [ThinkProgress, 2/28/15]
  • Lindsey Graham: “When it comes to Obamacare, this type of overreach continues to leave a bad taste in the mouths of the American people.” [www.LindseyGraham.com, 2/9/12]
  • Mike Huckabee: “And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.” [Huffington Post, 1/23/14]
  • Rick Santorum: “I don’t think it works. I think it’s harmful to women. I think it’s harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or tolerated.” [YouTube, 8/27/06]

#BirthControlHelpedMe headlines:

  • Shape: "Planned Parenthood Campaign Asks Women to Share How Birth Control Helped Them" (link)
  • Teen Vogue: "Girls Open Up About How Birth Control Has Improved Their Lives" (link)
  • Mic.com: "Women Are Sharing the Incredible Ways Birth Control Has Helped Them" (link)
  • Seventeen: "Girls Everywhere Are Sharing How Birth Control Changed Their Lives With #BirthControlHelpedMe" (link)
  • Parenting: "People Share the Positive Effects of Birth Control on Their Lives" (link)
  • Medical Daily: "Planned Parenthood's New #BirthControlHelpedMe Campaign To Remind Women Birth Control Is An 'Important Driver' Of Stability" (link)
  • Huffington Post: "People Are Sharing The Positive Impact Of Birth Control On Their Lives (link)
  • Latina: "Latinas Share Contraception Stories with #BirthControlHelpedMe" (link)
  • Bedsider: "Save birth control access for millions of Americans!" (link)
  • Salon: "Threaten family planning, raise hell: #BirthControlHelpedMe challenges congressional lunacy" (link)
  • Daily Dot: "If you don't think birth control matters, learn how #BirthControlHelpedMe" (link)
  • Daily Mail: "Lena Dunham joins thousands of women using social media to share personal stories about the importance of birth control in protest over proposed health service cuts" (link)

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.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planned Parenthood Action Fund media line at [email protected].


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