Cecile Richards, president since 2006 of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and a member of Team Hillary Clinton, made a stump stop in Columbus Thursday to support Gov. Ted Strickland in his bid to unseat incumbent first-term Republican Sen. Rob Portman.

The event was held near downtown Columbus at Ohio Democratic Party facilities, where a roundtable of 19 women sat in a square to hear Mr. Strickland differentiate his record from that of Sen. Portman’s on issues of paramount importance to all women of all ages.


President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Cecile Richards, center, was in Columbus on Thursday to stump for Ted Strickland, foreground. Iris Harvey, leader of Planned Parenthood for Ohio, right, joined Richards, Strickland and other women who shared their views and concerns on women’s health issues.

Cecile Richards was joined by Iris E. Harvey, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, in leading a discussion among women, which included retirees, elected officials, advocacy group leaders, political staffers and just regular citizens about women’s healthcare rights and the role Planned Parenthood has and will continue to play in making health and wellness decisions easier, more convenient and affordable. Pro-choice opponents have instead pledged to make access to a constitutionally guaranteed right higher, harder and more expensive.

Mrs. Richards used her star power position as president of Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund, a group who mission has been attacked by Ohio Gov. Kasich both before and during his ill-fated run for president, and by Columbus lawmakers who have created legal obstacles to a guaranteed Constitutional right that places Ohio among the most retrograde states in the nation, to make her case for why Sen. Rob Portman should be defeated on November 8, just 138 days away.

Mrs. Richards’ stop in Columbus took place as a high-profile group of national pro-life leaders called on Speaker Paul Ryan and his Republican conference to act against Planned Parenthood in light of alleged violations of law by the group, the Washington Times reported. A letter from the group to Mr. Ryan calls for taxpayer funding directed at Planned Parenthood to be reassigned to federally qualified health centers that do not provide abortions.

A fact Mrs. Richards made clear in Columbus today is that women’s access to health care is on the ballot across the country and especially in Ohio this fall. “We need a leader like Ted Strickland who will stand up to protect access to reproductive care, Planned Parenthood and fight for equal pay and paid family leave,” she said, adding, “Ohio women can’t afford more of Rob Portman in the Senate who, in his own words, doesn’t think the health of 70,000 women is ‘legitimate’ and refuses to disavow Donald Trump who has called women ‘pigs.’”

Daughter of former Texas Gov. Anne Richards, Cecile Richards expressed her excitement to be in Ohio’s capital city today stumping for Ted Strickland. She was here before, in March before the primary, on behalf of the Clinton campaign. Hillary Clinton beat Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders here this year just like she beat Barack Obama in Ohio in 2008. Bill and Hillary Clinton, so far, are undefeated in Ohio.

The stakes are high this year, maybe higher than ever before, so when polling shows Strickland ties Rob Portman at 42 percent, even after $25 million has been spent to beat him up but to no vail, and Hillary Clinton ties Donald Trump at 40 percent because she went up while he went down, it’s all hands on deck. With Ohio in toss-up state status for both the White House and Senate, voter turnout is the ball game, and Cecile Richards knows well this is where the battle is won or lost.

“There couldn’t be a more important election than this November, so everyone register and get out to vote, ” Richards said today.

Cecile Richards stumping for Strickland on 60 Seconds Ohio

Ted Strickland appreciated the effort and said so at the roundtable gathering and later in a statement on Richards’ endorsement of him.

“I couldn’t be happier to have Cecile Richards of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund here in Ohio to support me today! She understands that when it comes to economic and health security for women, Rob Portman’s record is a disaster,” he said, citing his opponent’s vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act five times and a bill he sponsored that subjects a woman’s decision to use contraception to whether her boss likes it versus whether she and her doctor agree its right for her,” Ted Strickland said.

Ted Strickland just this week released his Ohio Families First Plan to fight for Ohio’s women and working families. It highlights his support for protecting women’s healthcare as well as proposals on issues like equal pay for equal work, paid family leave and affordable childcare, Strickland’s campaign said. He also launched a new coalition group, “Women for Ted,” featuring over 100 Ohio women leaders who are supporting his campaign.