tv Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield CNN June 10, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PDT
honoring the man known by so many as the greatest. it's taking place as we speak and one of the big moments planned in i believe a 19 mile processi procession, you can hear them dheeri cheering for him, is passing by his childhood home. you can hear the cheers as we speak. after the funeral, the family will be holding a huge public memorial service, a celebration of his life. president bill clinton will be among those and don lemon holding the special coverage at 1:30 eastern. tune in for that and tune in still. thank you so much for joining us at this hour. "legal view with ashleigh banfield" starts right now. hello, everyone, i'm ashleigh banfield. welcome to "legal view." it has been a monumental week in presidential politics. this hour is no exception. breaking news, at any moment now, hillary clinton is going to give her first speech as the presumptive democratic nominee.
and just a few minutes later, donald trump will give his first speech since his notably scripted remarks on the last super tuesday of primary season. secretary clinton is speaking to the planned parenthood action fund, a receptive audience to be sure. donald trump will be speaking to the faith and freedom coalition, a group that in a typical election year would back that republican in a heartbeat. but this is not a typical year. and secretary clinton may be a little too late to her event at this point because she had a visit this morning, an important one, from massachusetts senator, elizabeth warren. it took place behind closed doors at secretary clinton's home and we saw that walk-in and the walkout. usually, that's the way it works, folks. and when senator warren left just a few minutes ago, you could see on her face, she at least was smiling. who knows if you can read the tea leaves though.
cnn correspondent joe johns on all things secretary clinton today and trump has, it's no secret, his favorability numbers with women are notiously low in the low 30s. but that doesn't necessarily mean hillary clinton could just do the mike drop, say his name, which is what she's planning to do, talk about women today, and run away with that vote. >> reporter: okay. to be quite honest with you, perhaps in this room, she could do a mike drop. this is the planned parenthood action fund. i've talked to people in this crowd. hillary clinton here and in fact, some of these people, even met on capitol hill on wednesday with elizabeth warren with a lobby day for planned parenthood there but you can say if you look at their web site, for example, there's this quote that tells you, basically what side
of the fence they're on. talking about hillary clinton, one, is a champion for women's health. the other is a sexist bully. that is referring to donald trump. across the country on the issue of favorables and unfavorables, hillary clinton has problems of her own. and you think about the obama coalition that put him in the white house, really, three groups there. african-americans. young voters. and independents. particularly, white working class independents. she's done real well with african-american voters hoping that bernie sanders will eventually help with younger voters that he's done so well with and then you have the issue of independents. and that's the big challenge. she has real unfavorable problems there. suspicions about her because the campaign said she's been around so long, been vetted, all of her information is on the table in such a known quantity but that
will be the challenge. those independent voters, ashlei ashleigh. >> jeremy, pick up on that, if you would, donald trump has his issues, hillary clinton has hers. but where he is now speaking to the eevangelicals, does he thin he can make up the difference with minorities and suffering with women, he can pick up elsewhere like the evangelicals? >> reporter: well, certainly a big part of the general election strategy is going to be motivating folks like over here. the social conservatives, the evangelicals, the people who were a significant part of his base that helped him win the republican primaries. if he can motivate those people to come out in bigger numbers than in 2012, that's certainly going to be an advantage from of course, at the same time, donald trump is still trying to make some appeals to minority communities. hispanics and african-americans for example, who he mentioned in speeches a number of times with specific appeals to them saying
his policies to bring jobs to america and make the united states a safer place will appeal to those groups. he doesn't need to pander to them. but donald trump stepped into it multiple times with the various minority groups suggesting he's a little bit perhaps tone deaf to the way these people want him to speak to him, the way that groups, independents and minority groups want to hear donald trump speak to them. but donald trump today, his main goal is to kind of rev up the party base and these people who did help him in the republican primary and that's, i think, what we're going to expect from donald trump here today. >> watching behind you so probably doing warming up for donald trump. we'll continue to follow this, joe and jeremy. appreciate it. more of the best political minds we've got here. may, cnn's national political reporter and joe, columnist for the "washington post" and covering the election for "usa today." welcome to all three of you.
josh, let me begin with you. what a difference a week can make. we were talking about the democrats being, you know, torn apart and then how long was this primary was going to go on and we had conciliatory language. maybe the democrats are headed towards unity and while the republicans are towards unity, they seem to be fracturing again because of the judge's comments. is this how it's going to be? >> we've got a lot of twists and turns between now and november but there's no doubt as this general election kicks off this week, the democrats seem more on message, more unified, and more prepared to take on the mammoth task ahead of them. more organization and the republicans are just trying to prevent themselves from looking fractured and prevent donald trump from starting another controversy to force them to take sides in some sort of war of words that alienates one group or the other. this is not how it will be for the entire cycle, but it is how
it is for now and donald trump's main goal today is to not create anymore controversies than he already has. >> frederirickafredricka, jump e know. my count, i may have missed, vice president biden, president obama, elizabeth warren, that's a significant heavy hitter list. let's see how elizabeth warren gave her endorsement. let's take a peek. >> i am ready to work my heart out for hillary clinton to become the next president of the united states, and to make sure that donald trump never gets anyplace close to the white house. >> that was nice. but then she also said stuff that was really, really rough on donald trump calling him a thin skinned fraud, et cetera, and it ain't the first time either. i wonder if the endorsements are more important than the method by which these endorsers will go out on the trail. >> you know, i think the endorsements are huge. obviously, elizabeth warren is a hero to the progressive
movement. and in the democratic party. and hillary clinton is trying to quickly consolidate support. bernie sanders has energized millions of people and it matters that she got a quick endorsement from elizabeth warren and that elizabeth warren met with her today. what's also important too is that elizabeth warren has proved to be a very effective attack dog on donald trump on twitter. she has been able to needle him and get under his skin and that's something that i think secretary clinton would be looking for around the people who are going to be her surrogates and potentially her vice presidential nominee, although it's probably too soon to talk about who exactly that will be. although today's meeting fueled all sorts of speculation about the possibility to pick elizabeth warren. >> i'm going to pop it up there so people can see how ugly things got in one small twitter war in the last few hours. it started with hillary clinton to donald trump saying delete
your account. trump's comeback was, where's your e-mails? and trump tweeted to warren, pocahontas has a nasty mouth. i think this was in reference to the thin skinned fraud and then warren's comeback was, seriously, no, seriously, delete your account. i feel like i'm a 14-year-old girl on facebook. but what i want to ask may seriously is about the demographics here who may or may not be affected by what we saw on the screen and what was so fascinating is cnn's polling did some great deep dives as you've written about into women. looking at the last 27 states, in particular, she led bernie sanders by about 24 points. rather, donald trump, overall with women. but then when you broke that down, it got fascinatinfascinat. that flipped and she was trailing by 37 points and correct me if i'm wrong, i was thinking it was donald trump but
was it bernie sanders or donald trump? the point being is that the young women are not on board. the older women are on board, the younger women are not. >> this was a fascinating analysis that our polling director did. looking at the entrance and exit polls across 27 states that we did those polls for and the generational divide was just fascinating for hillary clinton and bernie sanders. overall, women overall, 61% supported clinton. 37% supported sanders. but then when you broke that down and just looked at 18 to 29 years old across those 27 states, sanders led clinton by an average of 37% points. those young women gravitated towards his campaign and we saw that throughout the race here. the question now is whether once she's in a one on one match-up with donald trump, will that change and a lot of the young
women i talk to at bernie sanders rallies over the last week here in california are not planning to vote for hillary clinton at this moment. a lot of them said they're bernie or bust, meaning they'll write him in november or vote for jill stein, the green party candidate. and so hillary clinton clearly has a lot of work to do there. i think donald trump will help her a lot if he continues to be as polarizing among women, but hillary clinton does so much better among older women and part of this is because a lot of them say that this younger generation doesn't remember the struggle that they went through where they would be in for a job interview and be told they wouldn't be allowed to wear jeans and did they have a husband and did they have a car and a babysitter, so there's this very interesting dynamic going on where older women can understand why millennials are not getting behind hicllary
clinton. >> the fact she hired bernie's organizing director is fascinating. it's a big old deal, right? let me pivot to this one little nugget that's come up in the last four hours and josh, i'll get you to weigh on this. bill kristol was trying to mount an independent candidate that went away quickly came to a convention of conscience. he's watching the cascading republicans suggesting the comments were too much to get behind trump and the convention in cleveland would be quite something made easier by trump won minority of total primary votes anyway. he's calling this a delegate revolt, it could really happen. i'm only hearing it from david french that it could be a reality. >> it's the rules committee that has the ability to change the
rules. to the extent of which they can change the rules to sort of create this conscientious objector is an idea tim miller, who headed up the communications front for the anti-trump pac has been floating and it's interesting because it's really sort of trickling into either. all of these delegates bound to vote for donald trump want some kind of an out if they're not supporting him and it would be fascinating to see whether the rules committee can do something to make that happen. >> so josh, one of the rules committee members, i think, was actually quite. the genesis of something big. is that fair to categorize? >> i don't think it's a real thing. i've been talking to republicans about this. this is a trial balloon in the
latest of several trial balloons floated by the never trump movement. and they're floating it to see how much traction it can get but i think there's a consensus amongst party leaders that this would not only be farfetched idea and logistically difficult but just really a doom scenario for the party whereby they would be accused of manipulating the votes of millions of republicans in the favor of elites. it's not a real thing. sorry to tell. >> get three of you to stick around. i need you here. got a lot more questions to ask you, josh, may, in the meantime, we wait on hillary clinton and donald trump to speak very shortly and we'll bring that to you live as soon as it happens. and a quick reminder, you can watch "legal view" anytime. cnn.com/go and you got yourself a "legal view" right there in your hands and find me on twitter. love hearing from you. just tweet me at @cnnashleigh.
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a cnn political commentator. bakari. and scottie nell hughes, all four nice people. thank you so much for being here. happy friday. just because it's friday doesn't mean you get a break. sally, i'll start with you and actually going to start with you and john kasich together. i want to show what john kasich's response was when the ohio governor was asked whether to vote or support donald trump. have a listen. >> why would i feel compelled to support somebody whose positions i fundamentally disagree? >> i'm giving him a chance. i just wish there was a change but it doesn't look like there's been any change. it looks like it's gotten worse. >> these are the kinds of things donald trump is facing, but, you know, you've been through a few
political races in your time. these are not insurmountable challenges, you have to admit that. >> well, they don't seem to be insurmountable for donald trump. let me start by saying i stop making predictions in this election because i think, i'll be honest, i'll be wrong. i didn't think donald trump could take it this far. i thought america could come to its senses. doesn't seem that's happened yet. is it possible that republicans as well as some folks in the middle will hold their noses and vote for donald trump? yes. i will say that in addition to the people who are publicly waffling, again, rankin file republicans, prominent republicans publicly waffling about supporting their party's standard bearer, a man who their own policy and rhetoric helped to create, i'm hearing privately from a number of strong conservatives, leaders on the right who are also saying i'm supporting him publicly but i'm
really scared for what this guy is going to do. when push comes to shove in november, do i pray and hope that republicans of good conscience as well as all americans will see the real danger in putting this man in the white house, i have faith in us that we'll come to our senses. >> a lot of republicans asked if you are not supporting, are you voting? i don't know the difference between an endorsement and support, there's a difference. they're nervous or unsure where they're headed or what it would do for their own races they're in. but the speaker of the house, yet again, has come down hard on donald trump over these comments on his federal court case over trump university in california and today, he said that the comments were beyond the pale. he's going further. this was like textbook racism and now it's beyond the pale. it's causing problems for a lot of people and he still only has
one senator who's endorsed him at this point. the latest has him dropping six points in a head to head match-up with hillary clinton. this has to be concerning for folks like you who don't want to see this trend to happen. >> it's not concerning and to sally's point about being scared, they might be scared of donald trump like you are on halloween but in absolute fear of hillary clinton and what her agenda would do for this country. look at the two groups. faith and freedom versus planned parenthood. couldn't be more distinct. but donald trump is getting hit by people like paul ryan who by the way was criticized today by mitch mcconnell for the way he answered that. all he did was create this idea of encouraging reporters to ask this comment, is mr. trump racist? mitch mcconnell handled it well and say let's deal with this in private. but what i was surprised is hillary clinton didn't get anything. she should have had the best week ever and see a great bump
in the polls. she remained absolutely the same with those folks that donald trump lost going in the i don't know category. those are folks mr. trump can win back. >> i can just address something about the two groups they're speaking to? let's be clear. you're right, there's a huge difference. the faith and family coalition doesn't even represent a majority of evangelicals anymore. let's bear in mind. 60% of my lillennial evangelica support same-sex marriage and planned parenthood is supported by a majority of men and women who support a woman's right to choose in this country. huge difference, scottie. >> i want to jump in on that last comment about mitch mcconnell because he's come in with something more as of late. ben, i just want to get you to weigh in on this if you can and get comments on the screen if you can. but mitch mcconnell saying he needs somebody highly experienced and very knowledgeable because it's pretty obvious he doesn't know a lot about the issues.
that is troublesome when you have the senate majority leader, the republican who many look to for guidance saying that the republican presumptive nominee doesn't know a lot about the issues. >> yeah. look, here's the point that i think donald trump is going to probably be pretty smart with us on. you have a lot of establishment people that want him to go down in flames. they're campaigning on him harder than hillary clinton. but i think this is incredibly incompetent move for them to do this because he is the nominee. more importantly, they want to be able to say we were right, that you should have picked our establishment guy. donald trump's very smart on how to deal with this. he's going to remind people, especially when we get in the debates against hillary clinton, remember, all the establishment hates me. they don't like me. they don't want me to succeed and if you want an outsider to go to washington and shake up
these beginniguys, i'm your can. and i think we're getting close to that happening from donald trump. it's a smart move for him to make, by the way, this is what's gotten him to this point. being the outsider and said something clearly. i'm going to pick somebody that understands the political world, that is in the political world. and i think he will have someone to be able to help him navigate capitol hill. but for all these people like kasich and others coming out and saying these things, look, either just declare you're completely against him or say you're in favor of donald trump. get off this back and forth, i'm going to vote for him but he might be racist. i don't respect it. >> you might say the same thing about bernie sanders yesterday who didn't say i'm out and graciously concede. >> and that's hillary clinton. >> at least our guy is -- >> that's the thing about. that's hillary clinton's big problem. hillary clinton has a huge problem because bernie sanders supporters are not happy. >> let me get bakari in on this. we've been looking at live
pictures. we're in it. we're in the general election speeches now. it's official. and today, donald trump going after the evangelicals. there's ralph reid, one of the kings of that cause but hillary clinton's attacks against donald trump were, we're going to focus on his views on women, his temperament and business record. we heard her going after the temperament last week and i am wondering if this is prong number two. women. and that perhaps the business record will be next and then will they just cycle all the way to november, bakari? >> donald trump has given us more than enough verbage to move forward and when you saw the speech in san diego, she didn't have to make up anything. she challenged him as being tem temperamentally unfit. i think she can use the same
logic at planned parenthood, and laying out showing he's unfit in the recent gallup poll from the 2002 election, the largest gap in the history of gallup in terms of female voters in the history of this country between mitt romney and barack obama. i think you'll see that number double between donald trump and hillary clinton. the fact, donald trump has high unfavorable ratings with women, african-americans and hispanics, all groups he needs to be president of the united states and just to scottie and ben, i know everybody wants republicans to coalesce and get on the trump train, but they fail to realize or mention more republicans in the primary voted against donald trump than voted for and he may have gotten the most votes in the history of the republican primary but 2 million more voted against him than for him. >> i got to leave it there. >> how many voted against
hillary clinton? >> we are certainly going to see real numbers soon and when those head to head match-ups take hold. thank you though. bakari, scottie, ben, sally. good forward to having you all back. very nice people. i told you, they're all great. just a reminder, just able to check out cnn's exclusive interview with mitt romney to sound off on his stance against donald trump. the state of the gop and why he is not going to go to the convention. all of this going down in the situation room with wolf blitzer. 5:00 p.m. eastern. just wait for it right here on cnn. i want to take you now to the stanford rape case because there are brand new documents and photos that show the rapist, brock turner eer in a way you probably never thought anyone was going to see him and an incredibly moving letter from the vice president of the united states of america. and he authored that letter directly to the survivor. we're going to read some of
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brock turner, the convicted stanford rapist portrayed in court as a decent guy from a quote small town in ohio who, quote, never really experienced celebrating or partying when it came to alcohol and drugs, end quote. that's what brock turner himself wrote to the judge who presided over his case and that may have been what actually led to the judge deciding on that six-month jail sentence. but was what brock wrote to the judge true?
according to some new court files, the answer is resoundingly no. inside the prosecutor's file was this photograph of brock holding what appears to be a bong. they say he sent texts and provide evidence of him buying and doing acid about wanting to take ecstasy and lsd, but in the end, the discretion of judge aaron persky led to him deciding to sentence brock to just six months in jail for sexual assault. and that offense, a series of offenses carried with him a max of 14 years. the sentence started on june 2nd and we now learn that brock turner is currently under protective custody in a san jose jail. police say it's done because inmates believe have a high victim potential that need to be protected. in the meantime, there are online petitions to remove judge persky and signatures. publicity is affecting jury
selection in judge persky's courtroom. one attorney with a case said about 20 different jurors were excused because they felt uncomfortable in his courtroom. >> it's obviously had an impact. they definitely brought up how it affected them and their lives and how it could affect their judgment really is what trying to get at. >> also, inside those new files that we've been digging through is an impact letter from the survivor's own sister. in one part, addresses brock turner like her sister did and said, i feel such intense hopelessness that there will always be people like you who believe alcohol can dismiss horrible, sickening actions. those actions and the sentence are also sparking outrage all the way in the nation's capital. on capitol hill, in fact. i want you to pause for a moment and listen to this texas
congressman, a criminal court judge, absolutely unleashing on judge persky yesterday. >> this judge got it wrong. there's an archaic philosophy in some courts that sin ain't sin as long as good folk do it. in this case, the court and the defendant's father wanted a pass for the rapist because he was a big shot swimmer. judge should be removed. his sentence, a mere six months in prison and three years probation. because the judge said, quote, a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. well, isn't that the point? mr. speaker, the punishment for rape should be longer than a semester in college. >> congressman and judge was not the only person on the floor to speak about this as well. and then there's this. and this is a moment, folks. vice president of the united states, joe biden, has decided to add his voice to the millions
of you around the world coming out in support of the stanford rape survivor. he did it by writing a powerful open letter to her posted on buzzfeed. the vice president's efforts to end violence against women go back dkistrict of columb back decades. >> what you've done here as the violence against women act has done is more and more women are showing the courage to do what i hear men would say, why don't you just report it, give me a break guys. how many of you would report? >> he's been powerful before and he is certainly powerful now. if you give me a moment, i want to read some excerpts of his letter to the survivor. he starts by saying i do not know your name but your words are forever seared on my soul,
words that should required reading for men and women of all ages and wish with all of my heart, you never had to write. i'm in awe of your courage for speaking out and so clearly naming the wrongs and passionately your claim to human dignity. furious anger both that this happened to you and our culture is still so broken that you are ever put in the position of defending your own worth. i do not know your name. but i see your unconquerable spirit and the limitless potential of an incredibly talented young woman full of possibility. i see the shoulders on which our dreams for the future rest. you are a warrior with a solid steel spine. i do not know your name. but i know that a lot of people failed you that terrible january night and in the months that followed. i do not know your name but thanks to you, i know that heroes ride bicycles. that those two men who saw what was happening to you, who took
it upon themselves to step in, they did what they instinctually knew to be right. i join your global chorus of supporters because we can never say enough to survivors. i believe you. it is not your fault. your story has already changed lives. you have helped change the culture. you have shaken untold thousands in difference to sexual violence that allow this problem to continue. your words will help people you have never met and never will. you have given them the strength they need to fight and so i believe you will save lives. i do not know your name, but i will never forget you.
two images on your screen. hillary clinton, a planned speech by cecile richards, of planned parenthood, where she's giving her address in washington but also across town, that is the face you recognize, carly fo rina and now speaking on baf eh of donald trump. don't forget, she was also ted cruz's vice presidential nominee choice even before he didn't become the nominee. so there was that. the warm-ups are beginning. we'll bring those to you live as soon as we get to them. in the meantime, i want to take you to jeremy diamond with a bit of reporting at the trump event. i assume we get pretty close to it. have you seen other big names like carly fiorina and ralph reid? >> reporter: several members of the republican senate leadership like senator mitch mcconnell
here and another senator, senator david perdue of georgia who is speaking and some members of congress as well and james langford. a number of republican, washington republicans, as opposed to, not necessarily talking about trump but several of them, jeff sessions, one of the most prominent in washington talking about the need to elect donald trump in november specifically framing that in the context of the supreme court. senator perdue did so as well talking about the fact if donald trump isn't elected, hillary clinton can take perhaps at least one, maybe two, even three next supreme court justices which could dramatically change the face of the supreme court. that's certainly been a theme here where donald trump is addressing social conservatives, evangelicals in particular that are here. they were a big part of his base to win the republican primaries and so donald trump is looking to rev these supporters up as well as he heads into the general election. >> i just wanted to ask you
about what we're seeing right here behind you. seeing carly fiorina, she was great in the debates. it is hard not to forget that she and donald trump were at each other's throats. i said you recognize that face. i think she's beautiful. donald trump had an entirely different assessment of her face and made that infamous comment, look at that face. could you vote for that face? yet, she is introducing him. i don't think that's lost on many people. >> reporter: just to make a distinction, carly is not necessarily introducing donald trump but speaking before him. she's the last speaker in a line of speakers today and we have not yet heard carly fiorina mention donald trump's name today but said she would support the nominee and signed the infamous pledge saying she would support the republican nominee no matter what it was but carly fiorina to hear her speaking before donald trump is notable
and that is the republican unity and audiocasset and awkward people come together to support donald trump. you remember carly come to serve as ted cruz's potential running mate. she was an attack dog of sorts going after donald trump on a number of issues during those last very bitter and divisive final weeks of ted cruz's campaign. certainly interesting to see her speaking before donald trump. they may even cross paths backstage. i would love to be a fly on that room. >> right, no kidding. i want to be backstage at all of these things and that can be different. she's just the final speaker before him doesn't mean she's introducing him and who knows what their dynamics are like now. it's the same thing about voting for and endorsing. jeremy diamond, thank you. keep an eye on things for us and the hillary clinton event. so again, the head of planned parenthood, cecile richards at
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so hillary clinton has indeed been introduced. she's at the microphone to the cheers of those in her group at planned parenthood. she's going to give her remarks. but donald trump is not yet there. we'll do that as soon as we hear from the secretary. let's listen. >> hillary! hillary! >> thank you. thank you all. i -- i have to say, pink never looked so good.
i want to thank my friend and your courageous leader, cecile richards. you know, cecile really is the definition of grace under pressure. she has proven that time and time again over the course of her career, and particularly, over the last few years, she really is like another great american. her mother, ann richards, who was a friend of mine and i just wish ann were here to see this election. she'd have donald trump tweeting double time. we reached a milestone together this week thanks to you and people all over our country for the first time, a woman will be a major party's nominee for president of the united states.
and yesterday, i had the great honor of being endorsed by president obama and vice president biden. and by senator elizabeth warren. so it's been a big week and there's nowhere i'd rather end it than right here with the planned parenthood action fund. i'm grateful to the entire planned parenthood family. you made this campaign your own. whether you knocked on doors in iowa or rallied in california, this victory belongs to all of you and it belongs to the 1,000 young activists who came together in pittsburgh last month to get organized. it belongs to the staff, the
donors, and to the providers, providers like dr. omna darnish who called out donald trump for saying women should be punished for having abortions and defending her patient's right to make their own health decisions should be required reading for every politician in america. [ applause ] and i am deeply conscious of the reality that this victory belongs to generations of brave women and men who fought for the radical idea that women should determine our own lives and futures. and it belongs to the women and men who continue to fight for that idea today in the threat of
violence. when a man who never should have had a gun killed three people at planned parenthood in colorado springs, leaders in this room voted unanimously to keep health centers open the next day. and the ceo of planned parenthood rocky mountains made a promise to patients in colorado and beyond, when she said our doors and our hearts stay open. that is really what planned parenthood is all about. so today, i want to start by saying something you don't hear often enough. thank you. [ applause ]
thank you, thank you for being there for women no matter their race, immigration status and thank you for being there for natarsha who said planned parenthood caught her breast cancer when she was just 33 years old and saved her life. thank you for being there for college students getting std testing. the young people who have the tough questions that they're afraid to ask their parents. the sexual assault survivors who turn to planned parenthood for compassionate care. the transgender teens who come for an appointment and find the first place where they can truly be themselves. thank you for being there for your communities whether that means taking on hostile politicians in louisiana or handing out clean drinking water
in flint, michigan. and thank you for being there for every woman in every state who has to miss work, drive hundreds of miles sometimes, endure cruel medically unnecessary waiting periods, walk past angry protesters to exercise her constitutional right to safe and legal abortion. i've been proud to stand with planned parenthood for a long time. and as president, i will always have your back.
because i know that for a century, planned parenthood has worked to make sure that women, men, young people who count on you can lead their best lives. healthy, safe, and free to follow their dreams. just think, when planned parenthood was founded, women couldn't vote or serve on juries in most states. it was illegal even to provide information about birth control, let alone prescribe it. but people marched and organized, they protested unjust laws and in some cases, even went to prison. and slowly but surely, america changed for the better. 51 years ago this week, thanks to a planned parenthood employee
named estelle gristwald, the supreme court legalized birth control for married couples across america. when i used to teach law, and i would point to this case a look of total bewilderment would come across my students' faces, and not long after that, roe v. wade guaranteed the right to safe, legal abortions so young women were no longer dying in emergency rooms and back allies from botched illegal abortions. and this is a fact that is not often heard but i hope you will repeat it. america's maternal mortality rate dropped dramatically.
and it turns out, being able to plan their families, not only saved women's lives, it also transformed them. because it meant that women were able to get educations, build careers, enter new fields, and rise as far as their talent and hard work would take them. all the opportunities that followed when women are able to stay healthy and choose whether and when to become mothers. [ applause ] and you know so well, today the percentage of women who finish college is six times what it was before birth control was legal. women represent half of all college graduates in america and nearly half our labor force and
our whole economy then is better off. the movement of women into the workforce, the paid workforce, over the past 40 years was responsible for more than $3.5 trillion in growth in our economy. and here's another fact that doesn't get enough attention. unintended pregnancy, teen pregnancy, and abortion rates are at all time record lows. that reality and studies confirm what planned parenthood knew all along. accurate sex education and effective affordable