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The Hunger Games heroine Elizabeth Banks has become the latest major Hollywood star to take a public role in supporting President Barack Obama’s reelection.
The actress appears in a video lauding Obama for his support of Planned Parenthood and attacking presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney for pledging to end the organization’s federal funding. The spot appears to be part of a major new Obama campaign offensive to highlight his differences with Romney on issues of particular concern to women.
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Obama on Wednesday traveled to Colorado, where he is expected to emphasize how far apart he and the GOP candidate are women’s issues, particularly as they involved Planned Parenthood, which has become a bete noir to hard-line conservatives and right-to-life groups. The president will be joined on the stump by Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student who was blocked by congressional Republicans from testifying on behalf of including contraceptive coverage in the federal healthcare reforms.
In the video, which also was released Wednesday, Banks points out that 95% of the services Planned Parenthood provides are uncontroversial. “So for that little 5% that Mitt Romney decides he doesn’t agree with, he’s going to take away cancer screenings?” Banks asks rhetorically. “What is he doing? He’s going to take away people’s access to healthcare close by? We’re talking about working-class ladies who need healthcare. That’s it. That’s Planned Parenthood.”
Banks argues that Obama should be reelected because he “has not compromised on women’s health.”
In a particularly personal note, Banks describes her own reliance on Planned Parenthood when she was a struggling young actress without health insurance. “Yes, I got birth control, but it was for my massive migraine headaches and my heavy flow. Yeah, I’m on record saying I had a heavy flow,” the actress says. “And unfortunately, these are the types of things that I don’t want to discuss with employers. I don’t want to talk about that with my employer. That’s between me and my doctor, and at the time my doctor happened to be at Planned Parenthood.”
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