Washington, DC -- Planned Parenthood Federation of America applauded the testimony of the civil rights leaders, DREAMer and sexual assault survivor and advocate who stood for the rights of all Americans and shined a light on the troubling record of President Elect Donald Trump’s Attorney General nominee, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-AL), President of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), each delivered strong testimony against Senator Sessions. Senator Booker’s unprecedented testimony marked the first time a sitting senator has testified against another sitting senator’s nomination.

As Attorney General in Alabama in the 1980’s, Sessions prosecuted civil rights activists with voter fraud for assisting African-American voters, he’s called the Voting Rights Act, “a piece of intrusive legislation” and called the 2013 Supreme Court decision on the Shelby case which gutted the key provisions of the Voting Rights Act “good news....for the South.”

Amita Swadhin a sexual assault survivor  offered powerful testimony questioning Sessions willingness to protect the most vulnerable among us, citing his opposition to protections for LGBTQ people, immigrant and tribal populations in the Violence Against women Act (VAWA). Similarly, a former DREAMer and Army Veteran Oscar Vazquez shared the lengths he has gone to become a citizen in the United States and his fear that Sessions’ record of voting against the DREAM Act and testimony in favor of overturning the DACA program, leaving 800,000 young people in the shadows.

Statement from Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Senator Sessions’ nomination as chief law enforcement officer should send a chill down the spines of all Americans. Senator Sessions’ disturbing record of racism includes a history of attacking voting rights and immigrant rights, an assertion that Dominican Americans bring ‘no provable skills’ to America, a refusal to remove the Confederate flag from his office, and stating that the KKK is ‘ok.’ 

“Planned Parenthood applauds the leadership of Senator Booker, civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond and NAACP President Cornell Brooks in standing up to politicians trying sweep under the rug Session’s troubling record.

“At Planned Parenthood, we believe in the right of all people, regardless of background or immigration status to raise their families without the threat of violence as well as their right to access quality health care no matter what - values Senator Sessions has failed to demonstrate.  With civil rights, immigrant rights, and reproductive rights under attack, Americans need to come together and fight against the systemic barriers faced by too many and disproportionately by people of color, immigrant communities, and LGBTQ individuals. Senator Sessions’ confirmation would only take us backwards.”

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.