President Barack Obama’s re-election and the legislative successes we’re celebrating in Minnesota are a historic victory for women’s health and for all Minnesotans.
More than ever before, women’s health was a decisive issue in this campaign and presented one of the starkest contrasts between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. While President Obama vowed to fully implement the Affordable Care Act, which will provide millions of women with preventive care, Romney vowed to repeal Obamacare and oppose public funding for contraceptive care for low-income women.
Even in the face of these undeniable facts, Mitt Romney tried unsuccessfully to cast himself as more of a moderate on women’s health in the final weeks of the campaign.
This election was a rejection of the anti-women’s health agenda that some in Congress have pursued for the last two years and that Mitt Romney would have continued. It should send a powerful and unmistakable message to members of Congress and state legislatures all around the country that women do not want politicians interfering with our personal medical decisions — and that politicians who demean and dismiss women do so at their own peril.
Planned Parenthood is so proud to have played a role in this election. Our Action Fund worked to educate women voters about their candidates’ positions on important women’s health-care issues. We also secured close to 11,000 pledges from young women to vote on Election Day and to vote “No” on Minnesota’s two constitutional amendments.
Now, the tide is turned in both bodies of the Legislature. From Eagan to Edina and from Apply Valley to Woodbury, we have elected officials who are true champions for women’s health.
As a result, we can now focus on our biggest priority — implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Minnesota. Once fully implemented, 900,000 women in our state — millions more nationwide — will have health insurance. That insurance will cover well-woman visits, birth control, and other preventive care with no co-pays or deductibles.
This will dramatically expand the number of people who can receive high-quality, affordable health care from Planned Parenthood — and as a trusted and essential provider of health care in our region, we will be here to provide many more people with care, no matter what.
Sarah Stoesz is the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
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