Social issues took center stage in Charlotte for a second straight day, as Democrats brandished their support for Planned Parenthood.
When Republicans took the House of Representatives in 2010, they immediately got to work on legislation to roll back access to abortion and contraception — and Democrats are reminding voters that in order to protect their reproductive rights, women need President Obama.
To make their case, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told the audience in Charlotte that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to take women back to a time when an inability to plan their pregnancies meant “few women had the opportunity to finish school” and “weren’t even expected to live past the age 50.”
“It’s like we woke up in a bad episode of ‘Mad Men,’” Richards said. “Because when Mitt Romney says he’ll ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood, and turn the clock back on a century of progress, it has real consequences for the three million patients who depended on Planned Parenthood last year.”
“This year women learned that if we aren’t at the table, we’re on the menu,” Richards said. “Romney and Ryan are campaigning for women’s votes by saying, ‘Women need our help.’ This is coming from two men who are committed to ending insurance coverage for birth control. Who would turn women’s health care decisions over to our bosses.”
Convention-goers also heard from Elizabeth Ann “Libby” Bruce, an Ohioan who said Planned Parenthood made it possible for her daughter, Ruby, to be born.
Bruce said Planned Parenthood doctors diagnosed her endometriosis, a painful disease that leads to infertility.
“When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan make threats about ‘getting rid’ of Planned Parenthood funding, it’s clear that they haven’t given a thought to women like me, women with limited resources who are sick and scared,” Bruce said. “They haven’t thought about planned and wanted babies like Ruby who are able to be here only because their mothers received the health care they needed.”
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.