President Barack Obama drew a standing ovation from Planned Parenthood staffers and supporters this morning with a speech that proved his ties with the nation’s largest abortion provider are only getting stronger.
Putting to rest any suggestion he might be trying to distance himself from the organization, the president reassured those in attendance of his continued support.
“Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere,” he said. “It’s not going anywhere today, it’s not going anywhere tomorrow.”
The president also lambasted conservatives for trying to revoke Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.
“When politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag, they’re not just talking about you, they’re talking about the millions of women who you serve,” Obama said. “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.”
Originally the president was scheduled to address the group’s annual fundraising gala in Washington Thursday night. But on Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney announced Obama had canceled that appearance so he could spend more time with victims of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion at a memorial service scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Some in the pro-life movement speculated the president might be trying to distance himself from Planned Parenthood at a time when the murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell was giving the abortion industry a black eye. But Obama assured the crowd gathered at a Washington hotel Friday morning he would stand with Planned Parenthood as it fights any future efforts to shut it down: “You’ve also got a president who’s going to be right here with you fighting every step of the way.”
In reaction to the speech, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, chastised the president for ignoring the Gosnell case and Planned Parenthood’s role in not stopping the abortionist’s unlawful practices.
“President Obama touts Planned Parenthood as a trusted friend and health care provider to women and girls, but this could not be further from the truth,” Dannenfelser said. “Planned Parenthood last week admitted to knowing about the conditions inside Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic yet chose not to act to help end the killing of newborn babies and butchering of women.”
During his speech, the president, who never used the word “abortion” during his remarks, also took a dig at states that have passed more restrictive abortion laws in the last few years. He said such efforts were an attempt to send the country back to a time before Roe v. Wade.
“When you read about some of these laws, you want to check the calendar,” said Obama. “You want to make sure you’re still living in 2013. 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.”