Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, (PPAF) addressed the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday evening, extolling Sen. Barack Obama as the “right choice” and naming him as only the second presidential candidate endorsed by the PPAF. She also attacked Sen. John McCain, for his alleged indifference to women’s health and his pledge to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade.
Richards, the daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards, claimed that Planned Parenthood health centers are the “leading providers of women’s health care in the country” and are visited by one in four women.
“And not just for birth control,” she added, saying cancer screenings and breast exams are provided by the organization.
Though Planned Parenthood is also the largest abortion provider in the country, she did not mention abortion directly.
“Many women have no other source of health care,” Richards continued, saying that women and families are forced to choose “between rent and doctor visits.”
She also asserted that young people need “information to make responsible decisions about their health.”
Claiming that presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama understands women’s health care needs and asserting that Sen. John McCain does not, she stated that Obama has worked for “affordable family planning, for comprehensive sex education and for a woman’s right to choose.”
“He will be a president who supports women’s health and rights one hundred percent. He’s the change America needs,” she exclaimed.
Arguing that a John McCain presidency will be “more of the same,” she claimed that McCain has spent 25 years “working against the health care needs of women.” According to Richards, McCain has voted against “women’s health care” 125 times. In addition, Richards argued that McCain has voted against what she called “real sex education” and “affordable family planning.”
“If elected, John McCain has vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade,” she warned the DNC audience assembled in the first several rows of the Pepsi Center.
The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade mandated legalized abortion throughout the United States.
“John McCain believes that judges, politicians and bureaucrats know better than women themselves what’s best for their health care,” Richards argued, singling out for condemnation McCain’s position on whether insurance companies should cover birth control.
“Women in this country deserve better,” she pronounced.
Acknowledging her daughter Lily, seated among the audience in the Pepsi Center, Richards said that Lily will cast her first presidential vote for Obama.
“For mom, for Lily, and for all women, Barack Obama is the right choice,” she said in closing.