The XX Factor

Reminder: Hillary Clinton Fought for Plan B Contraception During the Bush Era

Hillary Clinton, a New York senator, in 2005.

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In a rapid-fire lineup of all the Democratic women in the Senate, Patty Murray of Washington reminded viewers that Hillary Clinton isn’t just pro-choice. She’s been a leader on abortion rights and access to reproductive health care for her entire political career.

At the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, Murray recounted serving in the Senate with Clinton during George W. Bush’s presidency in 2005. A top Food and Drug Administration official had just resigned after accusing the Bush administration’s appointees of bringing politics into medical matters. The agency had stalled on deciding whether to make Plan B contraception—the morning-after pill—available over the counter.

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Together, Clinton and Murray blocked Bush’s nomination of Lester Crawford to head the FDA until the agency made a decision on Plan B. Murray recalled on Thursday:

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When the Bush administration tried to block women’s access to Plan B contraception, Hillary was by my side and ready to fight. Our demand was simple: Base decisions about women’s health on science, not political ideology. Together, we stood up to an administration ruled by special interests and the extreme right. We refused to back down until the FDA did their job and put science and women first. Now, women across America are free to choose safe emergency contraception.

Reproductive-rights advocates haven’t forgotten Clinton’s battles on women’s health issues. Stories like these are why Planned Parenthood got behind Clinton early in the race in its first-ever primary endorsement.

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