Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mitt Romney: Out of Touch and Harmful for Women's Health

 The political arm of Planned Parenthood on Wednesday announced a new $1.4 million ad campaign against Mitt Romney, the most ambitious foray into presidential politics for the women's health care organization.

Rolled out simultaneously with Planned Parenthood Action Fund's endorsement of President Obama's re-election bid, the new ad campaign hits the presumptive Republican nominee for his views on women's health issues, calling them "out of touch" and "harmful."

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said her organization "couldn't be prouder" to issue its endorsement -- the group's third for any presidential candidate -- of Mr. Obama.

"The contrast with Mitt Romney couldn't be starker," she said in a prepared statement. "Planned Parenthood Action Fund is committed to ensuring that voters know how wrong Mitt Romney is for women - in his own words."

The first ad of the campaign, called "Out of Touch," shows clips of Romney saying he wants to "get rid of" Planned Parenthood and would like the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. "He's saying he'll deny women the right to make their own medical decisions," a female narrator says. (In full context, Romney was saying he'd like to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, not the organization itself.)

The ad will run on broadcast and cable through June 19 in three key swing markets -- West Palm Beach, Des Moines, and Northern Virginia.

The Action Fund, which is the political advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood, says its research shows women dislike Romney's positions on women's health issues once they learn about them. Conservative efforts to roll back support for Planned Parenthood and abortion rights has helped galvanize the group's supporters, growing its network by 1.5 million in the past year.

Democrats earlier in the year accused Republicans of waging a "war on women" and seemed to gain a strong electoral advantage among women voters. The Romney campaign has responded by charging that Mr. Obama's economic policies have been especially harmful to women.

A CBS News poll from earlier this month showed that nationally, Romney has erased Mr. Obama's lead among women. However, a recent NBC/ Marist poll shows Mr. Obama with an advantage among women voters in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia.

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