Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, delivered a very of-the-moment speech Wednesday night to the Democratic National Convention on women’s health and reproductive rights.
“We’ve come so far, so why are we having to fight in 2012 against politicians who want to end access to birth control? It’s like we woke up on a bad episode of Mad Men ” Cecile Richards said.
She urged women to throw their support behind President Barack Obama: “Thanks to President Obama, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition!” she told the crowd in Charlotte. “Back in Texas, we say that you dance with them what brung you. President Obama brought women to this dance and we’re staying with him all the way through November!”
Alicia Munday, writing at the Wall Street Journal ’s Washington Wire , was impressed with Richards’s zingers, including “They believe the solution to unemployment is hidden in our uterus,” and “If there was ever a reason for mandatory sex education, it’s Todd Akin.”
Richards, the eldest child of Texas Governor Ann Richards, was greeted by forty seconds of sustained applaluse when she mentioned her late mother’s 1988 keynote address to the DNC:
Twenty-four years ago, my mother, former Texas Governor Ann Richards, spoke to this convention. She reminded us there was a time when folks had to drink from separate water fountains, when kids were punished for speaking Spanish in school, when women couldn’t vote. Mom spent her entire life working to make things more fair. She believed the American dream wasn’t meant for just a few; it promised opportunity for everyone. Just a couple of years before she passed, Mom had the chance to become friends with a young senator named Barack Obama. She saw in him the promise of the future, and the promise of America—the promise of an America that always moves forward. That’s the America we believe in, and that’s the future we’ll be voting for this November. As women, we’ve come too far to turn back. And we won’t. Mom wouldn’t stand for it, and neither will we. So, this November, we’re going to keep moving forward, and we are going to re-elect President Obama.
Richards told the told the Daily Beast ’s Allison Yarrow that the way Texas legislators have treated women’s health care in the last two years—requiring transvaginal sonograms ahead of abortions, slashing more than $70 million from the state’s family-planning budget, and excluding Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program—could foreshadow what would come for the nation if Romney is elected. “If you want to see what a Romney presidency might be like, look at Texas,” Richards said.
WATCH Richards address the convention below and read the transcript of Richards’s speech here: