President Obama at the Planned Parenthood National Conference

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

President Obama became the first sitting president ever to address a
Planned Parenthood event this morning, speaking at the health care
group's national conference.

From the Transcript of prepared remarks (excerpt):

[O]bviously this is a special national conference, because it’s been
nearly a hundred years since the first health clinic of what later would
become Planned Parenthood opened its doors to women in Brooklyn.  And
for nearly a century now, one core principle has guided everything all
of you do — that women should be allowed to make their own decisions
about their own health.  (Applause.)  It’s a simple principle.  

So what I see in this audience, extraordinary doctors and nurses, and
advocates and staff who work tirelessly to keep the doors at health
centers all across the country going, then I'm reminded of those very
early efforts and all the strides that we've made in subsequent
decades.  And I also think about the millions of mothers and daughters
and wives and sisters, friends and neighbors who walk through those
doors every year. 

Somewhere there’s a woman who just received a new lease on life
because of a screening that you provided that helped catch her cancer in
time.  Somewhere there’s a woman who’s breathing easier today because
of the support and counseling she got at her local Planned Parenthood
health clinic.  Somewhere there’s a young woman starting a career who,
because of you, is able to decide for herself when she wants to start a
family.  (Applause.)

One in five women in this country has turned to Planned Parenthood for
health care.  One in five.  (Applause.)  And for many, Planned
Parenthood is their primary source of health care  — not just for
contraceptive care, but for lifesaving preventive care, like cancer
screenings and health counseling. 

So when politicians try to turned Planned Parenthood into a punching
bag, they’re not just talking about you; they’re talking about the
millions of women who you serve.  And when they talk about cutting off
your 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 — shutting off
communities that need more health care options for women, not less. 
(Applause.) 

So 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. 

Forty-two states have introduced laws that would ban or severely
limit access to a woman’s right to choose — laws that would make it
harder for women to get the contraceptive care that they need; laws that
would cut off access to cancer screenings and end educational programs
that help prevent teen pregnancy.

In North Dakota, they just passed a law that outlaws your right to
choose, starting as early as six weeks, even if a woman is raped.  A
woman may not even know that she’s pregnant at six weeks.  In
Mississippi, a ballot initiative was put forward that could not only
have outlawed your right to choose, but could have had all sorts of
other far-reaching consequences like cutting off fertility treatments,
making certain forms of contraception a crime. 

That’s absurd.  It’s wrong.  It’s an assault on women’s rights.  And
that’s why when the people of Mississippi were given a chance to vote on
that initiative, they turned it down.  (Applause.)  Mississippi is a
conservative state, but they wanted to make clear there’s nothing
conservative about the government injecting itself into decisions best
made between a woman and her doctor.  And folks are trying to do this
all across the country.

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.
(Laughter.) 

Forty years after the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s constitutional
right to privacy, including the right to choose, we shouldn’t have to
remind people that when it comes to a woman’s health, no politician
should get to decide what’s best for you.  No insurer should get to
decide what kind of care that you get.  The only person who should get
to make decisions about your health is you.  (Applause.)  That’s why we
fought so hard to make health care reform a reality.  (Applause.)

Full video of remarks.

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