President Obama emphasized the critical role Planned Parenthood plays in providing health care to women across the country but carefully sidestepped a discussion of abortion in his remarks to the Planned Parenthood Federation earlier today.
The president noted that one in five American women has turned to Planned Parenthood, and accused Republicans trying to cut funding to the organization of pushing to limit women’s health-care options. “Women should be able to make their own decisions about their own health, it’s a simple principle,” he said, and assured the audience that Planned Parenthood will continue to thrive. “Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere today, it’s not going anywhere tomorrow.”
The president was greeted by over 1,000 exuberant supporters. ”You’re making me blush,” he said as he took the stage at a hotel in Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday, Obama canceled his plans to deliver the keynote address at the Planned Parenthood event last night, instead choosing to speak today.
The president did not mention the trial of Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell, which has thrust abortion into the national spotlight in recent weeks. The gory details that have emerged in testimony have brought renewed controversy to a number of abortion issues; as an Illinois state senator, Obama repeatedly opposed bills that banned partial-birth abortion or extended legal protection to infants born alive from abortions.
The president today also criticized Republicans who have supported further restrictions on abortion at the state level, arguing, ”There is nothing conservative about the government injecting itself between a woman and her doctor.”