Obama Becomes First Sitting President to Address Planned Parenthood

By Dara Sharif

President Obama last week reassured Planned Parenthood and its supporters that they had his full support when it comes to defending a woman’s right to choose.

“When it comes to a woman’s health, no politician should get to decide what’s best for you,” Obama said during Planned Parenthood’s annual national conference in Washington, D.C. “The only person who should get to make decisions about your health is you.”

He said he would work to stop opponents’ efforts to block federal funding for the group because it provides abortions among an array of women’s health services, including screenings for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

Obama’s remarks, the first by a sitting President before the organization, come as lawmakers in more than 40 states have introduced bills to make it harder to get abortions.

“After decades of progress, there are still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century,” the President said.

A woman’s right to make her own reproductive health choices is one of the foundations of the Affordable Care Act, said Obama. He urged Planned Parenthood to help spread the word about how the new law works.

“Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere,” the President assured the group. “It’s not going anywhere today, it’s not going anywhere tomorrow.”

Women helped Obama get reelected, supporting him by a margin of 55 percent. Part of his appeal was his stand on issues such as reproductive rights.

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