Obama: GOP Putting Women's Health Back to 1950s

He becomes first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 26, 2013 12:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama became the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood today, and he offered a robust defense of the group, report AP and CNN. Among the lines getting attention:

  • What year is this? Citing strict anti-abortion laws in states such as North Dakota and Arkansas, Obama said, "When you read about some of these laws, you want to check the calendar. You want to make sure you're still living in 2013."
  • What year is this, take two: "The fact is, after decades of progress, there's still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century. And they've been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women's health."
  • 'Punching bag': "When politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag … when they talk about cutting off funding, let's be clear, they're talking about telling many of those women, you're on your own. They're talking about shutting those women out at a time when they may need it most."
  • No mention of 'abortion': Obama never used the word "abortion" in his speech, opting instead for a reference to a woman's "right to choose," notes Yahoo News.
  • Why the speech? Politics, explains the Washington Post. The president is looking to cement his and Democrats' already big advantage with voters on abortion in particular and women's issues in general.

President Obama pauses while speaking at the 2013 Planned Parenthood National Conference in Washington on Friday.
President Obama pauses while speaking at the 2013 Planned Parenthood National Conference in Washington on Friday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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