Planned Parenthood's Hillary Clinton Endorsement Is Great News for Women

Elections have consequences, and Planned Parenthood's very survival is at stake in 2016. That's why for the first time in the nonprofit's 100-year history, Planned Parenthood has endorsed a primary presidential candidate -- Hillary Clinton.

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If Republicans thought they would be able to play politics with women's health care without a fight -- they were clearly mistaken.

Sure, those who oppose Planned Parenthood's efforts will likely view the organization's Clinton endorsement as a knee-jerk Feminazi defense of abortion, but the move is far more significant. The early endorsement shows that at no time in the past 100 years have women's bodies and health care been a more highly politicized issue, putting Planned Parenthood in the position of playing political offense.

Just this week, the Republican-led House, which is one of the least productive in history, wasted time and resources passing symbolic legislation to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding in addition to repealing Obamacare for the umpteenth go-around. Those lawmakers, led by fresh-faced Ayn Rand fanboy Raul Ryan, knew the legislation would have no real effect since it's certain to be vetoed by President Obama -- well, no effect besides whipping up the hard-line, anti-choice voter base in an effort to boost voter turnout and score cheap political points.

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It's a shame women and women's health have such little value amongst our own representatives. But that doesn't mean we ladies are about to shrug our shoulders and shuffle off while we're being denied access to health care.

Remember last year when the Planned Parenthood CEO was hauled in front of Congress to defend the organization? Besides being subjected to appalling, sexist, and just plain false lines of questioning, Cecile Richards -- the daughter of the late, great Ann Richards -- sat there like the tough-as-nails, smart-as-hell leader she is and simply and calmly answered every ridiculous question.

Why?

She did it for every woman who ever received a back alley abortion, or needed cancer screenings and didn't know where to go; and every daughter who might need to go and talk to a physician about the real choices she has if faced with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. And most importantly, for the nearly 3 million American men and women who use Planned Parenthood services every single year.

Here's just a bit of Richards being relentlessly questioned by Jason Chaffetz, who around the same time was gunning for the House Speakership. Richards isn't even given a chance to answer his questions. If Rep. Chaffetz didn't actually want the answers, what was the point of the line of questioning? Cheap political posturing. And women's health is just too important to be used as a political ad setup.

Richards sat there in front of our Congress to show every politician who treats women's health care as political theater -- instead of the life-and-death issue that it is -- that women aren't going to have it; that the law and the truth are on our side; and that we're not going to be bullied. Women have come too far, worked too hard, and accomplished too much to be bullied into giving up one inch. Not one.

And so if Republicans want to play politics with women's bodies, then we're going to push back with everything we've got. And when it comes to women's issues and politics, there really isn't a heavier hitter than old Hillary.

Hillary was a feminist back before Beyonce made it sexy. She's been fighting for women her entire life. She graduated from Yale Law School in 1973 -- the same year of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Her life's work -- her very candidacy -- is a testament to feminism and women's rights. This is her jam.

Here's Hillary unequivocally laying out her position on family planning in 2009 during her tenure as Secretary of State. It doesn't get much clearer than this.

And so, under fire, Planned Parenthood has made the historic move to throw its organization's shoulder behind the candidate who was fighting for these issues since before most of us were born.

To those politicians who have staked their political fortunes on denying women access to Constitutionally protected health care, consider yourselves put on notice. We're showing up to the fight with the best we've got -- and that just happens to be a grandmother warrior in a pantsuit (and with an occasional really bad hair day) armed with a lifetime of hard-won experience.

Republicans will likely remember Planned Parenthood's endorsement of Clinton as the beginning of the first truly organized political fight for women's health care since the 1960s. If women's health care is going to be an election issue, then Hillary's just about the best we've got to lead the charge. And smart money's on the ladies -- because we're the ones with everything to lose.

Game on.

 

Image via Women's eNews / Flickr

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