Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s stance on Planned Parenthood was questioned at his first campaign stop in Illinois, when U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky showed up to protest his stance on Planned Parenthood.
Schakowsky stood outside with a group holding signs that read, “Keep Your Mitt(s) Off Birth Control.”
Schakowsky said she was motivated to come out to protest because of Romney’s recent remarks on Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that,” he told supporters at a campaign stop in Missouri on Wednesday, saying the reduction would be part of his plan to reduce federal debt. Later, Romney told Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times that simply wanted to strip the agency of federal funding, not shut it down altogether.
Either way, Schakowsky said Romney’s stance was “irresponsible.”
“In the year 2012, that Mitt Romney would want to make as a signature issue of his campaign, restricting women’s access to health care, is ridiculous,” Schakowsky said.
Carole Brite, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood in Illinois, said that some three million women around the country rely on Planned Parenthood to provide such services as breast exams, sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, birth control and counseling, as well as abortions.
“Most of the women that come to us, we’re their only health care provider,” Brite said. “A really small percentage of the services we provide are abortion services.”
Standing opposite the group of protesters, Romney supporters Victoria Koseck of Elk Grove and Diana Alder of Oak Park, said they didn’t see Romney’s stance on Planned Parenthood as a big concern.
“He’s against abortion, except incest and rape, which makes sense to me,” Koseck said. “He will not take away contraception.”
While Koseck said she was socially conservative, like many Romney fans, she supports the candidate for other reasons.
“I think he’s the guy who will fix our economy, that’s my No. 1 issue, to cut, cap and balance the budget,” she said.