Women's Health Cuts in New Hampshire, Ohio, and Michigan: A Taste of Mitt Romney's America
Mitt Romney’s Women’s Health Agenda: Looks Like New Hampshire, Ohio, and Michigan
Mitt Romney has taken his show on the road, stopping in battleground states New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan as part of his “Believe in America: Every Town Counts” bus tour. But much to the campaign’s dismay, not all of his receptions have been welcoming!
During his first stop on the tour in Stratham, NH, Granite State women (and the men who care about them) lined the roadside awaiting his arrival. Supporters of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England Action Fund proudly waived signs telling Romney: “Mitts Off Our Birth Control” and “Women are Watching.” They were joined by special guest star Pillamina, who also took to the streets to raise awareness of what a Romney presidency would look like.
In New Hampshire alone, 14,000 women, men, and teens depend on Planned Parenthood health centers each year. But that hasn’t stopped politicians in the state from cutting the family planning budget by 57 percent, nor did it stop them from disrupting access to birth control for 4,000 women last year when the Executive Council limited Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s authority to dispense birth control and medications in the state from July through September.
Under a Romney presidency, these types of policies could very well become the norm. Romney wants to “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, he believes the court case that ruled that states shouldn’t have the right to ban birth control was decided incorrectly, and he wants to eliminate funding for Title X. And if you think what’s going on in New Hampshire looks bad, what would it look like on a national scale?
After a brief trip to Pennsylvania, the Romney bus was back on the road to Newark, Ohio, where women were once again awaiting his arrival. Women from the Buckeye State lined the streets in full force outside Romney’s event. Why were they there? Well, after the last state legislative session when anti-women’s health politicians introduced 13 bills which could put women’s health at risk (seven of which were introduced in the first eight weeks of session), they can’t imagine four years with a president who would support such extreme policies.
In Ohio, Planned Parenthood health centers care for 90,000 patients each year. In 2011, they provided 18,000 lifesaving cervical cancer screenings and 20,000 clinical breast exams, enabling women in Ohio to live safe and healthy lives. This critical health care is what opponents of women’s health will take away if they get their way. This preventive care is what Romney will take away if he is elected and delivers on his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That’s why women in Ohio are watching! They know where Romney stands and they are letting other women know too.
Now Romney heads to Michigan, where the controversy over a sweeping abortion bill that passed in the state House of Representatives has been receiving national attention. The bill in question would require health centers providing abortions to become unnecessarily licensed, with burdensome requirements that could force all of these centers to close, among other restrictive provisions. And when the House held a public hearing over such a divisive bill, dozens of women, as well as leading medical professionals, were denied the right to testify in opposition.
Michigan is a state that was ranked as the 14th worst state in infant mortality. It is a state where 554,400 women need publically funded contraceptives. This is not the time to cut family planning services and restrict women’s access to birth control, but that’s what could happen as a result of this election. Women know what’s at stake, and that’s why with Mitt Romney campaigning in Holland and Troy this week, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan supporters are following him on the road – standing up against his out of touch and harmful views on women’s health, including access to low-cost birth control.
These women know better than anyone that if you want to see Romney’s women’s health agenda, you only have to look at what’s taking place in Michigan. Can you image what it would be like in all 50 states? It’s time to tell him women are watching!