Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today declared his support for women's access to contraception and quality health care and questioned recent attacks on Planned Parenthood by Mitt Romney and other conservative politicians. "March, as Women's History Month, is an especially appropriate time to celebrate women's many historic accomplishments in the United States, but today some of us are doing the opposite," Grijalva said. "Women have been turned into political targets by followers of an extreme agenda who believe women shouldn't make their own choices. I think it's time we turned that around."
Grijalva pointed out that health insurance providers have charged women higher rates and gotten away with it for too long, a practice forbidden by the Affordable Care Act. He questioned how any presidential candidate "could ever stand up and say working mothers, sisters and daughters don't deserve to receive health screenings, or don't deserve to receive care during pregnancy. Our priority has to be ensuring equal access, but Mitt Romney is somehow willing to cut off women's access to health care to help fund tax benefits for billionaires. Let him honestly explain that to women around the country and see how they respond."
Romney recently stated that he would "get rid" of Planned Parenthood, which provides cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive care to approximately three million people each year. Planned Parenthood often is the only source of a family's contraceptive and prenatal planning. One in five women in the U.S have visited a Planned Parenthood clinic.
"Women are not an interest group to be pandered to one day and vilified the next," Grijalva said. "If you truly believe in women's equality and control over their own health, you wouldn't run against Planned Parenthood to win votes. It's time for people with principles to stand up and say women aren't second class citizens and enough is enough."