From the Women are Watching rally on Tuesday to Cecile Richards and Sandra Fluke last night, women’s rights have taken center stage at the Democratic National Convention. It has been wonderful to see so many powerful women speakers, like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, NC Governor Bev Perdue, NARAL President Nancy Keenan, Tammy Duckworth, Kathleen Sebelius, Lily Ledbetter, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Elizabeth Warren.
The unprecedented focus on women and women’s rights comes on the heels of two years of unrelenting attacks. Two years ago, when Republicans fueled by Tea Party support took control of the US House of Representatives, they came after women’s health. They voted to end cancer screenings and well-woman visits for five million women, end funding for birth control at Planned Parenthood, and for good measure, they even tried to redefine rape. Across the country, there have been more than 100 new laws enacted to restrict women’s access to health care.
Right here in North Carolina, our GOP-led legislature, despite campaigning on promises to create jobs, went to work to ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state funding to provide preventive health care- like annual exams, birth control, cancer screenings, and STD detection and prevention- to women.
As Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President, said last night at the convention, “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.”
The 2012 Election is perhaps the most important one we’ve faced in our lifetime. It is very clear that Republicans want to take us back. Take us back in every way, from fair pay, to birth control, to voting, to controling our bodies and our lives. Mitt Romney says he’ll “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, turning his back on the three million women who come to us for care every year.
Well, we’ve got a message for Mitt, “ We’ve come way too far to ever turn back. And we won’t.” Watch Cecile Richard’s full speech as she endorses President Barack Obama.