Cecile Richards

Remarks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention - Sept. 5, 2012

Cecile Richards
September 05, 2012— Charlotte, North Carolina
Democratic National Convention 2012
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Good evening. On behalf of the millions of mothers, daughters, wives, sisters and friends - Republicans and Democrats - who have counted on Planned Parenthood for health care, and in honor of the thousands of doctors and staff at Planned Parenthood health centers all across America, I am proud tonight to support the re-election of President Barack Obama!

Two years ago, when Paul Ryan and John Boehner and Todd Akin and the Tea Party took over the House of Representatives, they promised us they were going to create jobs and jump-start the economy. But, instead, on day one, they came after women's health and they haven't let up since – right? So first, they voted to end cancer screenings and well-woman visits for five million women. They voted to end funding for birth control at Planned Parenthood, and for good measure, they even tried to redefine rape. And now, Mitt Romney is campaigning to get rid of Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v. Wade. And we won't let him.

This past year women learned that when we aren't at the table, we're on the menu. So this November, women are organizing, we're mobilizing and we're voting for the leaders who fight for us.

Nearly 100 years ago, when Planned Parenthood was founded, birth control was illegal. And as a result, few women had the opportunity to finish school. We weren't even expected to live much past the age 50. But times have changed. Today, we are mothers, and we are teachers and scientists and accountants and members of the armed forces. And because of President Barak Obama, more women than ever are serving in the Cabinet and on the United States Supreme Court. We've come so far.

So why are we having to fight in 2012 against politicians who want to end access to birth control? It's like we woke up in a bad episode of "Mad Men." Because when Mitt Romney says he'll "get rid of" Planned Parenthood, and turn the clock back on a century of progress, it has real consequences for the three million patients who depend on Planned Parenthood each year. Women like Libby Bruce, who you just heard from. Women like Brandi McCay, a 27-year-old woman whose stage two breast cancer was caught at a Planned Parenthood health center, and thank God, she's now cancer-free. Or the woman who went on Facebook, after Paul Ryan voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and posted, "I guess they don't understand that us military wives go to Planned Parenthood when the doctor on base can't see us."

So Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are campaigning for women's votes by saying the women need their help. Okay – this is coming from two men who are committed to ending insurance coverage for birth control. Who would turn women's health care decisions over to our bosses. And who won't even stand up for equal pay for women. Okay – as my grandmother back in Texas would have said, "Any more help from Mitt Romney, and I'm going to have to take in ironing."

But here's the good news – we already have a president who's on our side. President Obama understands women. He trusts women. And on every single issue that matters to us, he stands with women. President Obama ensured that women's preventive care - including birth control, too – will be covered by all health care plans, with no co-pay, no matter where we work. And because of President Obama, soon women won't be denied insurance coverage because we've had breast cancer or survived sexual assault. And we're no longer pay more than men for the exact same health insurance. Thanks to President Obama, being a woman is no longer be a pre-existing condition in America! That's right, that's right. Back in Texas, we say that you dance with them what brung you, okay? Well, President Obama brought women to this dance and we're staying with him all the way through November!

Twenty-four years ago, my mother, former Texas governor Ann Richards, spoke to this convention. She reminded us how far we've come, and that there was a time when folks had to drink from separate water fountains, when kids were punished for speaking Spanish in school, when her grandmother couldn't even vote. My mom spent her entire life working to make things more fair. She believed the American dream wasn't meant for just a few; it promised opportunity for everyone. Just a couple of years before she passed, Mom had the chance to become friends with a young senator named Barack Obama. She saw in him the promise of the future, and the promise of America—the promise of an America that always moves forward. That's the America we believe in, that's the future we'll be voting for this November. That's right. Because as women, we've come way too far to turn back. And we won't. Mom wouldn't have stood for it, and neither will we. So, this November, we're going to keep moving forward, and we are going to re-elect President Obama. Thank you.

PBS News Hour. (2012, Sept. 5). Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards Address Democratic Convention [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wXJJxWCu_A.