Dozens of Philadelphia women joined DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Allyson Schwartz in the city's famous Love Park to protest the Republicans' anti–women's health agenda. Young and old, college students and retirees, these women were united in outrage that so many members of the Republican Party—from presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett—are going after their rights and their health.
These women hope that as the campaigning ramps up across their state, they can get the word out that Romney, Santorum, and the Republicans do not have women's interests at heart. Pointing to her "Get your Mitt(s) off birth control" sign, one woman says, "Let these signs be on the news."
For Vickie Goffredo and Amy Fitzpatrick, the GOP's attacks on health care brought them out today. "Mitt Romney wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood," says Goffredo. "They do so much for the women who really need their help. If Romney gets rid of Planned Parenthood, a lot of women would have no place to go. This isn't about abortion. This is about women's health. Period."
Adds Fitzpatrick: "These Republicans are clueless about women when it comes to where they go for health care. Too many women don't have the income to go anywhere else. If they can't get a mammogram, that's just wrong."
Like Virginia's Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, Pennsylvania's Gov. Corbett has tried to push an invasive ultrasound law, going so far as to say that if women don't like it, they should simply shut their eyes. That's something Philadelphian Kristen Stoner finds "appalling." Stoner says, "That is a decision a doctor and a woman should make together—not some politician who doesn't know me and doesn't respect women. That's like—well, I can't even think of an analogy, it's so appalling to me."
Republicans can't just Etch A Sketch away their extremism. Already, they're alienating an extremely important voting demographic. "I vote," says Stoner. "I haven't missed an election since I turned 18. And there are a lot of women like me."
Today's press conference makes that clear. The fact that a large group of upset Pennsylvanians came out on a Thursday afternoon to stand in solidarity against the GOP agenda "should send a message that you can't get away with it," says Stoner. "We're here, and we're not going to be quiet."
That's a sentiment that Goffredo echoes. "Mitt Romney and the Republicans are about to start campaigning here in Pennsylvania. Guess what? We're here too. And we're here to tell them: Don't take away our health care."
You too can send a message to the Republicans. Add you name to tell the GOP that their attacks aren't "fiction."