The day after Mitt Romney officially clinched the Republican presidential nomination, Planned Parenthood released its first ad in support of President Barack Obama's re-election. The non-profit group, which has provided reproductive, maternal and child health services for over 90 years, will spend $1.4 million on the campaign.
"The stakes for women have never been higher than they are in this election and the contrast between President Obama and Mitt Romney could not be starker. Thats why Planned Parenthood Action Fund is stepping up in 2012 to play a bigger role than it ever has before in the elections," a Planned Parenthood press release said Thursday.
"There is no greater champion for women's health than President Obama and Planned Parenthood Action Fund couldn't be prouder to endorse his re-election as president today," Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards said in the release.
On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood also released an ad calling Romney "out of touch" with women's issues. It will air in three key swing markets - West Palm Beach, Florida Des Moines, Iowa and Northern Virginia - as well as Washington, DC.
The ad highlights Romney's support for ending federal funding to Planned Parenthood and overturning Roe v. Wade, two key stances seen as inimical to women's health interests. The ad also touches on Romney's inability to state conclusively whether he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, making it easier for women to sue on the grounds of pay discrimination.
"Unlike President Obama, what Mitt Romney doesn't seem to understand is that women's health issues are economic issues for women and families. The fact that Mitt Romney doesn't understand that shows just how out of touch and wrong for women he really is," said Planned Parenthood's Richards.
Although Romney told Diane Sawyer he had no intention of changing the law, women's groups have been looking for a more conclusive answer to the question posed to his campaign manager on April 11 conference call that lead him to state, "We'll get back to you on that."
Numbers released this year show women still make an average of 77 cents on the dollar when compared with male colleagues. The White House quickly pounced on the numbers, calling for the end of pay discrimination. They also have strongly supported the expansion of anti-domestic violence legislation in Congress.
The Planned Parenthood press release also highlighted Romney's support of personhood legislation that could ban common forms of birth control and in-vitro fertilization. The legislation has already been rejected in Mississippi, Colorado and Oklahoma.
"Planned Parenthood Action Fund is committed to ensuring that voters know how wrong Mitt Romney is for women - in his own words," Richards added.
Planned Parenthood, which provided services to three million people in 2009-2010, has only endorsed three presidential campaigns in its 90-plus year history, including then Senator Obama's 2008 run. Polling has consistently placed President Obama above Romney in popularity among women voters.
by RTT Staff Writer
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