Planned Parenthood announced Thursday (Jan. 7) that it will endorse Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton for president.
That may not sound like a totally surprising move, given the former Secretary of State’s unwavering support for women’s health initiatives, but it’s indeed a historic one: This marks the first time in Planned Parenthood’s century-long existence that it’s backing a candidate in a presidential primary.
“Let’s be clear — reproductive rights and health are on the ballot in 2016," said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards in a statement. “We're proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.
“No other candidate in our nation’s history has demonstrated such a strong commitment to women or such a clear record on behalf of women’s health and rights,” she continued. “This is about so much more than Planned Parenthood. Health care for an entire generation is at stake.”
The organization’s advocacy arm, Action Fund, will officially announce its endorsement at an event in New Hampshire on Sunday, according to The New York Times. Its support for Clinton could help win over female voters and mobilize support in swing states where abortion and reproductive health services are hotly debated.
Planned Parenthood’s endorsement comes at a critical time: On Wednesday, the House approved a bill that would repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act and block federal funding for the nonprofit. In a response posted on her website, Clinton called the vote “a jarring reminder of what’s at stake in 2016.”
In a statement released Thursday, Clinton acknowledged the endorsement, saying, "As a lifelong Planned Parenthood supporter, I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. There has never been a more important election when it comes to women’s health and reproductive rights—and Planned Parenthood’s patients, providers, and advocates across the country are a crucial line of defense against the dangerous agenda being advanced by every Republican candidate for president.”