Capps a Champion

The past few weeks, many of us have watched in disbelief as Mitt Romney has tried to paint himself as a moderate on women’s issues. It’s like he thought women — and men — would just forget his support for defunding Planned Parenthood and his promise to overturn Roe v. Wade.

He’s not alone — both in his extreme positions and his attempts to hide them. It’s the same thing that Abel Maldonado has done on the Central Coast. Maldonado has aligned himself with politicians in Washington who have tried to pass extreme measures attacking women’s health.

Ever since the 2010 election, women’s right to reproductive health care has been under unrelenting assault. At a time when the country faced serious issues of unemployment, a tough economy and home foreclosures, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has avoided these urgent issues and instead has repeatedly voted to turn back the clock on women’s health care.

In fact, the very first bill the Republican House leadership introduced would have ended the bi-partisan national family planning program — signed into law by President Richard Nixon — which serves nearly five million low-income women a year with preventive care.

The Republican leadership didn’t end there — the House then voted to completely ban Planned Parenthood from federal programs, which would cut women off from lifesaving cancer screenings, well-woman visits and birth control.

If elected, Maldonado would be one more vote for the same Republican House leaders to continue attacking women’s health. These are the same Republican House leaders who are bankrolling his campaign and running Super PAC ads on his behalf.

During his 12 years as a Sacramento politician, Mr. Maldonado has consistently opposed women’s reproductive rights.

In 2005, Mr. Maldonado voted against a resolution calling on the President and Congress to protect and uphold Roe v. Wade.

In 2010, Mr. Maldonado refused to say where he stands on a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion. He also has received failing scores from Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Action Funds of California for every year he held office.

That’s why it’s so important that women remember what a champion Congresswoman Lois Capps is for all of us.

She stood up for women — like she has done all her life — when the far-right and House Speaker John Boehner attacked Planned Parenthood. Capps also fought to pass the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees that women will no longer have to pay more for their insurance than men. It also ensures that preventive care like birth control is covered with no out-of-pocket cost.

Lois Capps understands these issues — and how they impact people’s lives – more than almost any other policymaker.

Capps worked for 20 years as a nurse and health advocate for the Santa Barbara public schools. She knows exactly what it takes for people — especially young people — to get the kind of health care they need and the information they want.

Lois Capps is a unique voice in Congress — a voice for women and for everyone on the Central Coast. She has fought to keep politics out of women’s health care and now it’s our turn to fight for her! That’s why we must do everything in our power to send Lois Capps back to Congress this November.

Cecile Richards is president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund

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