Hillary: I am heartsick for the women denied healthcare by attacks on Planned Parenthood

We went to HRC’s Women Town Hall in Brooklyn

There were hundreds of women waiting, with the line wrapping around the corner and filling another city block.

Every demographic was represented, from older African-American women in floor-length mink coats, to little girls sporting Barbie pink jackets and #HillYes stickers. The only way you could distinguish the Ready for Hillary supporters from the Hillary fangirls were the women squealing about taking a selfie with her.

This was Hillary’s Women’s Town Hall,  convened at a school twenty minutes from her massive campaign headquarters in Brooklyn. Co-hosted by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray, the presidential candidate engaged the audience in a spirited celebration of women and their political future.

Her star power was obvious upon arrival — the line so long you would think Queen Bey herself was in attendance.

Bernie supporters were sent across the street. One sexist protestor trolled the line with a poster of a puppy, arguing that voting for a dog would be better than voting for Hillary. (He was implying there’s no difference between bitches.)

Despite the freezing wind, all the women were cheerful — they were happy to be there, WithHer. That enthusiasm was amplified inside, and the crowd was outwardly raucous and celebratory.

Fangirls swarmed Hillary for a selfie following the event

Hillary spoke broadly, and told the audience that her presidency would be guided by “the values of New York” – a knowing nod to Ted Cruz’s debate gaffe.

With the Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in mind, she asked: “How do we unify our country? Too many voices out there, too many people are trying to divide Americans against Americans. I wish they’d all come to New York and spend time.” She then added: “And the fellow who’s from New York, I wish he would get out of one of his Towers and actually walk the streets.”

She also tied her national security credentials to the city which she votes in April 19, saying: “We in New York also know that national security, public safety, terrorism can’t be an afterthought. We have to be prepared and we have to be ready, and we have to do that in a way that is consistent with our values.”

And without naming him, she took aim at her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders, saying that the first question of a presidency is “can you produce positive results in peoples’ lives? Not just talk about it, but actually deliver. Deliver the kind of progress that we in Brooklyn, throughout New York believe in.”‘

Hillary specifically cited Bernie’s plans for “free” college, a promise she says is implausible.


“I have a plan to afford more young people to go to college,” she told the audience. “I’m not promising free college – if you read the fine print, free college requires governors chip in about a third. I don’t have a lot of confidence in that.

“Instead, I’m going to hand over affordable college for working-class and poor families.”

She said the plan was based on her experiences in Arkansas. “I want to make this initial point. A lot of young women have extra expenses when they are trying to get their education. When I was teaching at the University of Arkansas and spent a lot of time talking to students, I spoke with many young single parents who were working so hard – they could scrape together the money for tuition. But they had an old clunky car and it broke down and they didn’t have the $300 to fix it. Or their childcare was no longer possible, or the house they were living in got sold out under their feet, or the rent was raised and they couldn’t afford it.

Speaking to her earlier question of  “How are we going to make positive differences in peoples’ lives, particularly women and girls?”, Hillary promised she will break down barriers for all Americans — specifically economic barriers.

Breaking down barriers

When you attend a Town Hall for Women, and all the anchors covering the event are men

“We’ve got to have more good jobs with rising incomes, and we have to knock down every barrier that stands in the way — whether they are barriers based on gender, race, sexual orientation, disability or anything else,” she said. “Because we have so much talent in this city, state, and country. We’re only hurting ourselves, as well as holding others back if we don’t knock down these barriers.

“My goal as your president is to knock down every barrier standing in the way of every American fulfilling his or her protection, and I’m particularly concerned about girls and women — being one myself, but more than that, we still have a long way to go. Before we can honestly say to our daughters, “You can be anything you want to be — including president of the United States.”

She said yesterday’s decision to raise the minimum wage in New York City was a jumping-off point for further progress across the country.

Equal Pay

“Raising the minimum wage in New York, starting in the city and now in the state, is a huge step forward,” she said. “We have to raise it nationally, and then we finally do have to guarantee equal pay for women’s work. You know the numbers – 78 cents on the dollar for white women, 66 cents on the dollar for African American women, 58 cents for Latino women.

“This holds back not just women, but families. If you have a woman in your family who is not being paid equally, when she gets to the checkout counter in the supermarket, they don’t say ‘Oh, you just have to pay 66 cents on the dollar.’ Last time I checked, that doesn’t happen.

“What we have to do when we talk about enhancing women’s rights and roles, and giving women the keys to having their own future open, we have to recognize we won’t be able to succeed if we don’t have a Democrat in the office come next January.”

“A lot of the pay disparity in our country is due to the professions which women are most heavily represented. But that’s not all – people try to say that as an excuse. Those jobs are just as important as anybody else’s jobs. You’re a teacher, you’re a nurse, you’re a social worker, you’re an early childhood caregiver, you deserve to be paid in a way that produces dignity and a decent standard of living.”

At this moment, Hillary was stopped by chants of “I’m with Her! I’m with Her!” The cheers grew even louder and more raucous as she responded, “And I’m with you!”

She then moved on to discuss one of the most anticipated topics of the Town Hall: women’s reproductive rights. To wild applause, Hillary declared: “We have to stand firm on behalf of a woman’s right to make her own reproductive healthcare decisions.”

Citing Trump’s recent comment that women should be punished for unauthorized abortion, Hillary promised to protect women and defend Planned Parenthood.

Reproductive rights

“Don’t be misled — Trump may be the most outrageous of the republicans, but he is saying what all of them believe,” she said. “They want abortion to be illegal, and they do want to punish women. He just committed the sin of telling people what they actually believe.

“Make no mistake about it, it goes to the heart of women’s autonomy and independence. It is critical to who we are and who we can be. So we must defend it.

Addressing the fight ahead over the funding of abortion and related services by the states, she said: “We’re going to defend Planned Parenthood. We’re going to protect Planned Parenthood, from the partisan attacks that have been hurled against it continuously.

“What I am just heartsick about is the millions of women who will be denied healthcare if the states keep doing what they’re doing, and if the Supreme Court affirms what they did in Texas.”