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Cleveland, OH — Tonight, the Republican National Convention is featuring some of the most extreme crusaders against Planned Parenthood and women’s health care. This comes after the party leadership made history earlier this week by attacking Planned Parenthood directly in its platform for the first time ever. Then, on Tuesday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed that if elected, Donald Trump would sign a bill to “defund” Planned Parenthood.  


So what kinds of attacks on health care can we expect tonight from Newt Gingrich, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker — and of course Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence? Let’s review some of their greatest hits:


Indiana Governor and Trump running mate Mike Pence


  • Pence was willing to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding: In 2011, Pence said on Morning Joe that “of course” he was willing to “hold up this entire budget over defunding Planned Parenthood.” [Morning Joe, 4/5/11]


  • Politico called Pence’s determination to deny patients care at Planned Parenthood health centers a “one-man crusade” and said that “nobody hates Planned Parenthood quite as much as Mike Pence.” [Politico, 2/16/11]


  • Pence has also said: “I long for the day that Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history, when we move past the broken hearts and the broken lives of the past 38 years.” [Congressional Record, Pence Floor Remarks on H. Amdt. 95 to HR 1, 2/17/11]


  • In Congress, Pence introduced six separate measures aimed at blocking patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers: He introduced three bills as well as three amendments in an effort to prevent millions of patients from accessing life saving care at Planned Parenthood health centers. [H.R. 217, 1/07/11; H.Amdt.95 to HR 1, 2/17/11; H.R. 614, 1/21/09; H.Amdt.389 to HR 3293, 7/24/09; HR 4133, 11/09/07; H.Amdt.594 to HR 3043, 7/19/07]


  • Pence speaking about his bill to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers said, “The time has come to deny all Federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America”: “The time has come to deny all Federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America. I have authored the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would deny Title X funds to Planned Parenthood or any other abortion provider, and Congress must act and act now to move this important legislation.” [Pence Remarks, Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 19, 2/8/11]


  • Pence signed a $3.5 million contract with an anti-abortion group to promote abstinence and biased pregnancy counseling: As governor, Pence signed a contract to take $3.5 million from the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which provides aid to low-income families, and give it to the Pennsylvania-based anti-abortion group “Real Alternatives,” to “actively promote childbirth instead of abortion.” [The Journal Gazette, 10/13/15]


Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich


  • Gingrich opposes abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest: “Newt Gingrich explicitly told a voter in Iowa this afternoon that he opposes all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, joining fellow GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry in staking out the most radical position on a woman’s right to choose. Gingrich did promise to form programs that would provide counseling to women who find themselves in such situations: Q: I know you’re pro-life, but do you make exceptions for rape and incest? GINGRICH: No, I wouldn’t make exceptions.  [Think Progress, 1/3/12]


Texas Senator Ted Cruz


  • Ted Cruz would rather shut down the government then allow Planned Parenthood patients — many of whom are low-income and have no other options — receive access to birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment.


  • Cruz has voted three times to block patients from accessing services at Planned Parenthood.



Florida Senator Marco Rubio


  • Marco Rubio supports preventing rape victims from accessing abortion, slashing insurance coverage of birth control, and blocking millions of  patients from basic care at Planned Parenthood health centers.


  • Rubio has said that the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision was “one of America’s most blatant instances of judicial activism.” [Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator, 1/22/13]


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker