Illinois action blog

Friday, August 24, 2012

Women are Watching Bus Tour: Lincolnshire

As many of you may know, Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) held a rally in Lincolnshire on Wednesday as part of their Women are Watching bus tour. PPAF's big pink bus has been trekking across the nation to raise awareness about what's at stake for women health in November and mobilize people to vote for their own interests.

With a turnout of nearly 100, we were very happy to see so many of our supporters out there! Gathering at the United Auto Workers parking lot on 680 Barclay Blvd, voters sent a clear message to Romney, Ryan, and any other politician that thinks opposing women's health will help them in the coming election. This year, women will decide the outcome of elections across the country, and are watching very closely to ensure that they elect candidates who will protect women’s health care.

“Politicians who would defund Planned Parenthood — as Mitt Romney has pledged to do — would deny millions of women access to birth control and cancer screenings,” said Pam Sutherland, vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood Illinois Action. “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan clearly don’t understand that women and families will be directly hurt by their out-of-touch views.”

Efforts to eliminate access to birth control, cancer screenings, and basic preventive health services started in Congress 18 months ago. Now we’re seeing cuts and attacks that put women’s health at risk in states like Texas — which is a preview of the Romney-Ryan plan for America.  The Women are Watching campaign's primary goal is to make voters aware of such obvious attacks on women's health, and to stop anti-women candidates in their tracks.

Nearly three million patients come to Planned Parenthood health centers every year, including 60,000 patients in Illinois — not to make a political statement but to get high-quality, affordable health care. More than 90 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides are preventive, including breast and cervical cancer screenings, STI tests/treatments, birth control services, and more.

These are basic economic issues for women and families, and supporting family planning is smart fiscal policy for the country.

In Illinois, legislators attempted to make into law a medically unnecessary ultrasound bill designed to make a woman’s decision about her abortion onerous, complicated, and punitive. Legislators also prevented a bill that would have required public schools to teach medically accurate, age-appropriate comprehensive sex education, despite the fact that this form of sex education has proven to decrease the rate of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among young people.

“We still face serious threats in Illinois,” said Sutherland. “We need to re-elect pro-family planning and pro-women’s health care legislators who will stand up for women in Illinois and across the nation."

With the turnout this week, we know many of you understand the importance of this election.  But the race is far from over.  We urge all voters who see the violations against women to continue to take a stand for women's health throughout the next three months.

Watch out for more events by following us on our social media outlets and on this blog.  You can also check out our friends at Citizen Action Illinois and the Campaign for Better Health Care.

Visit our Facebook page to see more photos from the Women Are Watching tour.

This post was created by Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA). PPIA is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL).

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