According to multiple reports, the media was not permitted inside the event. The Texas Tribune, however, obtained audio of Bush’s speech. The publication disclosed in its reporting that “Planned Parenthood has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune.”
Bush, who is the CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, a nonprofit organization that grants fellowships to health care activists around the world, told about 1,000 attendees at the luncheon for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas that she is frustrated that activists still have to make a “case for why women’s health matters in 2017,” the Tribune reported.
“Our belief that health is a human right is not reflected in today’s reality,” she said. “Millions of people's potentials and futures are undermined simply because they do not have access to the health care that they deserve. We have these incredible tools to solve problems, yet health systems are weak, and we need new leaders to fix them.”
She also stated that when she accepted the invitation to speak at the luncheon last year, she anticipated that the November election would have a different outcome.
“In October, when I was asked to speak, I said yes and I was thrilled, but I was under the assumption that history was going to go differently,” Bush said. “That was not meant to be a political statement; I just thought the cards were going to fall in a different way. I’m so happy I said yes, because this work could not matter more.”
Bush went on to call Planned Parenthood “a one-stop-shop" for women’s health, adding that its supporters make an “incredible investment" for "both women and also their kids."
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Bush told the crowd: “I am proud to stand with Planned Parenthood not only because women, regardless of where they are from, deserve to live dignified, healthy lives, [but] ... because it’s a really good investment. We know that when women are healthy, their families and their children are healthier too.”
Pro-life activists, led by Students for Life of America, protested Planned Parenthood outside the event.
Jillian Ferguson, 23, a member of Students for Life, told the Star-Telegram that “it’s important to make sure there’s a consistent and sustainable pro-life presence at events like this.”
“We don’t want to leave Planned Parenthood unchallenged, especially with George W. Bush having left such a pro-life legacy,” Ferguson said. “We don’t understand why Barbara Bush would go against that legacy.”
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas CEO Ken Lambrecht said in a statement to KHOU-TV that "Barbara Pierce Bush was an amazing speaker for Planned Parenthood today and spoke what we all believe, that women's health should not be politicized.”