Cecile Richards

Endorsement of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton - Jan. 10, 2016

Cecile Richards
January 10, 2016— Manchester, New Hampshire
Print friendly

Thank you so much, Crystal and Hana, two of our incredible young leaders. Thank you Natasha for sharing your story and being just an amazing leader. And can we give it up for Kelly Robinson, the most awesome organizer!

I was back there with Secretary Clinton. She goes, "Kelly, I like… Yeah…." I'm like, "No. Do not touch." She's going to organize this entire country for us.

And I also want to thank the doctor, the good Dr. Burgett, who's really one of the heroes of this movement. I thank her and all the doctors at Planned Parenthood for the work they do every single day.

We also have some Planned Parenthood CEOs today, so I want to thank them. Reina Schiffrin from Hudson Peconic Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak from the, CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts – welcome her. And our very own Meagan Gallagher, CEO here, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund and our host for today – thank you for being here.

There's a lot of elected officials here today, but I want to mention a couple. Congresswoman Annie Kuster is here – thank you, Annie. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas is here – thank you. And former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter – thank you very much for being here today with us.

It's also a point of personal pride that we have two awesome and brave New Hampshire executive councilors, Colin Van Ostern and Chris Pappas, who stood strong for Planned Parenthood funding. Give it up for them – they're amazing!

And we have so many state reps and state senators here from New Hampshire, too many to mention, but thank you all for being here today.

So I'm really excited. I have been on campaigns pretty much my whole life, but I haven't been this excited since the day 26 years ago on the Capitol lawn in Austin, Texas, when my mother declared she was running for governor of the state of Texas, Ann Richards. And I feel like she's with us here today.

And I am so excited to be in New Hampshire. Are you ready to make history today? Me, too!

So let's just sort of set the stage. Planned Parenthood was started nearly 100 years ago and the whole idea was to give women access to health care and the rights they needed to build their future. Since then, women have made enormous progress and let me tell you we are just getting started, my friend, okay.

So, [unintelligible]. We're now almost half the workforce in America. We're more than half the college students. We're in Congress, we're on the Supreme Court, and with your help we're going to be in the White House, right?

And I think it's really important, because of why we're here today, women have made these gains in large part because we actually have the right to plan whether and when we have children. It is absolutely fundamental to everything we can do. And we're here today to say we're not going back now, all right?

So as you heard a little bit before, Planned Parenthood health centers all across America see millions of patients every year from every single state, including here in New Hampshire. There is no more American institution in this country than Planned Parenthood.

So from Claremont to Derry to Exeter to Keene and right here in Manchester, women wrote to say how they count on Planned Parenthood every day. A grad student in Newmarket who depends on Planned Parenthood for affordable birth control so she can actually finish school and plan her career. Or a new mother in Tamworth who wrote she goes for annual checkups at Planned Parenthood because she knows she will get excellent, high-quality, affordable health care. And a young woman here in Manchester with a family history of cancer who goes and gets her peace of mind by going to Planned Parenthood for her annual breast exam.

They are why we are here today. Planned Parenthood patients and staff and supporters come from every single walk of life, and that includes they come from every single political persuasion, right? Right? Am I right? Yeah.

So, folks walk through our doors every day at Planned Parenthood health centers not to make a political statement. They're coming because they need the best quality of care from the best medical professionals that is affordable and high quality without judgment and without shame, my friend, all right? That's what we're about.

So as one of our patients from Keene said, Planned Parenthood provides screenings and care that keep our population healthy and able to live free. Isn't that what New Hampshire is all about? Absolutely!

So the Planned Parenthood Action Fund was created because decisions made by politicians, by state executive councils and by Congress and by presidents impact the everyday lives of women and their families.

And in fact, of course, we just saw this last week when the House of Representatives voted one more time to eliminate millions of people's ability to go to Planned Parenthood for preventive care. And you know the only reason that bill will not go into effect? Because President Barack Obama vetoed it the moment it hit his desk – the moment. Exactly. That's why we need a friend in the White House, and thank you President Barack Obama

And that helps us know why the stakes have never been higher for women and for families. Over the past few months, as you have heard at community forums around the country, Planned Parenthood Action Fund spoke with supporters on the ground about what they want from the next president.

And here's what we heard. They want a president who believes that access to health care isn't a luxury, it's a human right. And they also want a president who understands that being pro-choice actually means being able to choose to have a child. And a president who will fight for prenatal care and Head Start and health care for kids and an excellent public education, right?

Because as someone famously said, it takes a village to raise a child.

And they want a president who will stand up to the gun lobby and demand safety for kids in schools and folks in church and women who are going to get health care, no matter what.

And they want a president who will demand that nobody is paid less just because they are a woman. We deserve 100 cents on the dollar, my friend.

And folks around the country demand a president who will protect access to safe and legal abortion and who is tough enough to stand up to anyone who would deny women the right to make their own health care decisions – right?

So the good news, as you probably heard, is this year we have that candidate. And so I couldn't be prouder to say that today the Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to endorse Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States of America.

As I as I think you all know, in this election, with the attacks on women's health and rights more than ever before, we don't need just a friend, a solid vote, a supporting statement. We need a fighter.

It was Hillary Clinton who first said to the world that women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights once and for all, right.

Now okay here's the tough thing, is there are actually some folks who still don't believe in that, and the real problem is several of them are running for president of the United States of America.

Personally, I hope I live to see the day when a woman's right to health care is embraced by Republicans and Democrats and independents, and understand it is an American value, it is an American value.

But one lesson from the recent Republican debates is we've got a lot of work to do. Every single leading Republican candidate for president has committed to destroying the progress that women have made. They've all vowed to ban safe and legal abortion. They have pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act, ending insurance coverage for birth control for 55 million women in America. And they have sworn to block Planned Parenthood access for millions of patients in this country, including cancer screenings, wellness visits and family planning.

Frankly, the Republicans running for president have painted a picture of their vision for women and it looks a lot like the 1950s. And my friends, we are not going backwards. I mean, yeah. Mad Men is great entertainment on TV but I sure don't want to live in that series.

Hillary Clinton understands the lives of women, and she's been fighting for women and families her entire life, and not just with her words but with action.

As a young attorney working for the Children's Defense Fund, advocating for victims of abuse; as first lady, helping create the Children's Health Insurance Program which provides 8 million children in America access to health care; and as U.S. senator, she introduced eight bills to expand access to reproductive health care – and that's eight more than anyone else running for president of the United States.

No candidate has done more for women and families, for our health, our rights and our economic security. She's the leader I trust in the White House to make sure that women and families move forward.

As secretary of state, she put women's health care and economic rights at the top of the global agenda. And she stared down some of the toughest dictators around the globe. So, I have no doubt that she can stare down the gun lobby, the Tea Party, and anybody who would take away women's rights, because she never wavers, she never wavers.

These last eight years under President Obama, women have made huge advances, so again, thank you, President Obama for being a champion for women every single day.

But we know if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz have their way, we'll be back in the Stone Age, and we can't go back there.

This election is a showdown between those who want to build upon the incredible progress that we've made and the promise of the future, and those who want to rip it all away.

And we have worked really, really hard together to get where we are today. It is unthinkable that our granddaughters and our daughters could be facing a future where they have fewer rights than we do, is that right?

So make no mistake – this election will determine whether Roe vs. Wade continues to be the law of the land; whether women and families make their own child-bearing decisions, not politicians; and whether women can continue to seek care from Planned Parenthood.

Our pledge, my pledge, Hillary's pledge is that Planned Parenthood's doors will stay open.

So that's why we're here today. That's why we're here in New Hampshire. We are here to make history.

Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of the United States of America, Secretary Hillary Clinton.