June 7, 2010
Planned Parenthood Endorses Tom Barrett for Governor
Commemorates 45th Anniversary of Landmark US Supreme Court Decision legalizing birth control by Announcing Endorsement of the Only Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidate Supporting Birth Control Access
MADISON, WI –Today, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin (PPAWI) announced their enthusiastic endorsement of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett, a steadfast supporter of reproductive health care access. The announcement comes on the 45th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the landmark US Supreme Court decision that legalized birth control for women and recognized that these personal, private decisions were fundamental rights. Yet in the 45 years since Griswold, women continue to face unnecessary and often politically motivated barriers to contraception. Both of the leading Republican candidates for Governor, Scott Walker and Mark Neumann, have appalling records when it comes to women’s health care.
“Mayor Tom Barrett values prevention based health care like birth control, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and comprehensive prenatal care, and supports a woman’s right to make personal health care decisions,” said Chris Taylor, Public Policy Director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. “Mayor Barrett’s position on these issues is in stark contract to both Mark Neumann and Scott Walker, who believe that politicians and the government, not women and families, should make personal, private health care decisions.”
During his 10 years in Congress, Barrett voted to require federal employee’s health benefits to cover prescription contraceptives; rescind the Global Gag Rule and restore funding for international family planning. As Mayor, Barrett has made public health a priority by making strides in reducing teen pregnancy and STD rates, making a significant commitment to maternal and child health, and launching the Fatherhood Initiative in 2006 to help stem teen pregnancy among other public health problems. Barrett also supports the Medicaid expansion championed by the Doyle administration that extends access to family planning services for low-income Wisconsin women and men.
Scott Walker, during his career in the state legislature, sponsored some of the most extreme anti-women’s health policies, including allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill women’s birth control prescriptions, eliminating prevention based family planning health services for low income women, and allowing doctors to withhold critical prenatal care and tests to pregnant women. He recently applauded Juneau Country District Attorney Scott Southworth’s threats to prosecute teachers who teach about contraception as required by a state law, referring to him as a “leader” who stands up for families.
Mark Neumann’s record on women’s health while in Congress is as extreme. He voted not only to restrict access to abortion care without any exceptions for when a woman’s health is in danger, but also to birth control. He voted to eliminate Title X, the federal family planning program for low-income women and to restrict access to family planning programs in the world’s poorest regions.
“Birth control is basic health care, as more than ninety-five percent of women use some form of contraception in their lifetime,” Taylor continued. “Forty-five years after birth control pills became legal in this country, Scott Walker and Mark Neumann both consistently have blocked access to this basic health care. They are too extreme for Wisconsin. It’s clear, on the other hand, that Mayor Barrett stands with women and families on these issues. And Planned Parenthood stands with Mayor Barrett.”