Obama: 'Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere'
April 26th, 2013
12:08 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama: 'Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere'

(CNN) - President Barack Obama on Friday chided recent state efforts to enact tougher abortion laws and became the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood when he spoke at a gala for the group.

"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," he said at the event held in Washington.

He cited North Dakota's anti-abortion measure signed into law last month, which bans most abortions after six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be first detected. Arkansas lawmakers also passed a bill this year that prohibits abortions after 12 weeks.

Alabama, Indiana, and Virginia have recently worked to push laws that raise requirements for abortion clinics, making abortions more difficult.

The president pointed to an initiative rejected by voters in Mississippi in November 2011 that would have defined life as starting at conception, and outlawed abortion and many forms of birth control if passed. Obama characterized the ballot proposal as "absurd" and "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," he said. "And Mississippi is a conservative state."

Abortion was legalized in all 50 states in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Statutory time limits on when abortions can take place, however, vary from state to state.

Planned Parenthood advocacy groups played a key role in the president's re-election campaign last year, spending about $15 million in an election year that saw an unexpected focus on social issues, including contraception and abortion.

His campaign released multiple ads attacking Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for proposing to cut government funding to the group.

"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."

"The fact is, after decades of progress, there's still those who want to turn back the clock," he added.

He used the address to promote the Affordable Care Act, urging the audience to educate women on some of the benefits included in the reform.

Notably absent from his remarks was mention of the high-profile murder trial underway of Kermit Barron Gosnell, a Philadelphia doctor accused of performing illegal late-term abortions. Gosnell faces four first-degree murder counts.

Authorities allege that some of the infants were born viable and alive during the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy, but were killed with scissors that were used to cut their spinal cords.

The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List responded to the president's remarks.

"President Obama blatantly ignored this inconvenient truth about the abortion industry's horrific lack of oversight, and disparaged the pro-life advocates who wake up each morning with the goal of saving the lives of unborn children and women from the pain of abortion," Marjorie Dannenfelser, the group's president, said in a statement.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said earlier this month that while Obama was "aware" of the case, "the president does not and cannot take a position on an ongoing trial."

The gala was originally planned for Thursday evening but was rescheduled for Friday to allow the president and first lady more time in West, Texas, where they attended the memorial service for 12 slain fire fighters in last week's fertilizer plant explosion.

Friday's event was held to honor Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa, HBO 'Girls' creator Lena Dunham and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Dunham starred in a controversial web video for Obama's campaign last year, in which she compared a person's first time voting to losing one's virginity.

Obama concluded his remarks vowing to keep fighting for the organization.

"No matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, if there's one thing the past few years have shown, it's that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere," he said.

Filed under: Abortion • Planned Parenthood • President Obama
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. mightyduk

    Its not about killing babies,its about health care, prevention and a woman's rights.

    April 27, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  2. Scott

    Its a sad day when our Preisdent promotes murder of innocent babies by endorsing Plan Parenthood, which promotes aboration rather then protecting the human rights of children. No doubt the President and Plan Parenthood and women every where look at Doctor Kermit Barron Gosnell, a Philadelphia doctor accused of performing abortions as a hero.

    April 27, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  3. Ben

    "Government Funding" is a nice way of saying Tax payer funded. I do not want to pay for your abortion nor should I or anyone else have to. It has been determined that it is legal to kill babies as long as it is before they exit the womb FINE. But I am not in the mood to fund your Government sanctioned murder.

    April 27, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Mary

    Abortion is progress? When did human life become so de-valued? Men and women have their choice whether or not to come together to procreate. After that, they need to be held accountable by society for their choice. It is the duty of every good society to protect the innocent and defenseless.

    April 27, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. MaryM

    For all you dummies out there, the government does NOT pay for abortions.
    And abortion is private medical matter between a women and her Doctor. it is None of YOUR business. Understand?
    Keep your big fat nose out of other Americans private medical decision.!

    April 27, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. jonnyg

    During the 12 minutes of Obama's speech, Planned Parenthood performed 7 abortions

    April 27, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Pete

    @Scott,and other delushionals,Planned Parenthood MAN is not only about abortions idiot..Quit speaking unfactual statements when if you ever went to a Planned Parenthood facility they do cancer screenings,mammographys for women and pap smears other eccentials that most women without insurance coverage can't afford..Abortions at these facilities only account for less than 1-3% of total clients,patients and even then Planned Parenthood looks to other avenues to take abortion out of the equation something no one what's or needs ..Foster homes and adoption is highly recommended as well as psychological help if the patient has problems coping with a pregnancy..Go into a Planned Parenthood facility its not the butcher shop most ignorently proclaim here!!Most women that have had Planned Parenthood in their lives will say the same with their helping them as well!!

    April 27, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. Lynn

    The planned parenthood of WNY does not provide services for testing for STD or the treatment for them. They refer you to the Dept of Health, they only provide abortions, birth control services, annual exams, Colposcopy and cryotherapy. They claim to provide services like mamograms however when you attempt set up an appt, they refer you to an alternate service.

    This is how they get federal funding. They advertise for services they do not provide, refer you to another program, and get the referral and take credit for the service. It smoke and mirrors. I used to work there. I know how it operates. Its a farce and they steal government money.

    April 27, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    It bears repeating:

    If it weren't for Planned Parenthood, I might not be alive today. I have a family history of cervical cancer (my mom's mom died of it and my mom had a full hysterectomy at 45 because of a pre-cancer diagnosis) and back in 1990, when the health insurance I had through my job had a high deductible, I went to Planned Parenthood for my annual exam (which cost me about half as much as going to a doctor).

    That year, my test came back positive for pre-cancer cells. Planned Parenthood had done a confirmation test (at no additional cost to me) and referred me to a local OB-GYN for follow up. I had laser surgery and am happy to report that all my exams since have been normal.

    I am grateful for the services Planned Parenthood provides. Without access to their affordable care, I – along with my three children – would very likely not be here today.

    April 27, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    I have only used Planned Parenthood for preventive care and cancer screening services. I have a friend, however, who went to a Planned Parenthood with the intention of getting an abortion. She had a two-year-old son and had found out on the same day that she was pregnant with her second, that her husband was having an affair. She couldn't imagine raising two children as a single mother, so she sought out abortion services at Planned Parenthood.

    The staff at Planned Parenthood listened to her concerns – and talked her OUT of the abortion, telling her she was not in the right frame of mind to make such an important decision. My friend went back home, and fortunately reconciled with her husband and gave birth to a healthy baby boy (both brothers are friends of my children).

    April 27, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. FubarObama

    Oh yes they are.. Yes they are.. Another lie by the community organizer

    April 27, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. MomofFour

    The president can not comment on an ongoing trial? Perhaps Pres. Obama forgot this memo when he commented on the Trevon case and when he called police officers stupid for arresting his professor friend.

    April 27, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. MomofFour

    Abortion isn't health care people! It floors me each time I hear this president praised for his stance on 'women's' rights.

    How about he show some compassion for the butchered babies?

    PP brings in top $$$ for their abortion business. That cash doesn't come in for the breast cancer screening. Oh wait, they don't scan for breast cancer, oops.

    April 27, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Chris

    PP is a facade for taxpayer-funded abortions. I don't see how this guy claims to be Christian.

    April 27, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. BTLProd

    @Mightyduk About Prevention? What are you preventing, the birth of a Human child?

    If you want to prevent a birth the simpler answer is DON'T GET PREGNANT. they do know what causes that these days.

    April 27, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. Alden

    I don't understand how it's wrong to go shoot a baby once it's born, but if it's in the mother's womb, then it's ok to take that life.

    April 27, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Greg

    Obama on guns: Think about the kids!

    April 27, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. Efren

    President Obama told the crowd god bless Planned Parenthood, Satan is the god of this world. THE GOD of creation
    does not bless murder.

    April 27, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. RICHARD6613

    What about those kids that are born and are dumped in the trash can or sold to pedophiles or jst treated like ish for the rest of there lives I don't think abortion is a contraceptive but that is sometimes the more humane thing to do and not every kid gets adopted to a fairy tale life wake up people this the reall world......IT IS VERY CRUEL!!!!!!

    April 27, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. TPaine

    Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the country. Millions performed since Roe. Abortions are a small percentage of their work? Who cares? Newtown was a small percentage of Adam Lanza's life's work, too. And if it's so insignificant, why did the president focus so much attention on it?

    April 27, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. Lolo

    Planned Parenthood does not promote abortions, it is one of many services they offer. That's like saying Wal-Mart promotes duct tape! They don't encourage women to have abortions, they simply help women understand their options and let the woman choose what is right for her in a non-judgemental environment.
    I find it hypocritical that those who call themselves "Pro-life" only care until the baby is born. Then if they go hungry, are homeless, or can't access healthcare, they're on their own.
    As for the Gosnell trial, if anything it shows how much places like Planned Parenthood are needed. When places like Planned Parenthood disappear, abortions don't stop, they simply move into the shadows and become dangerous. Women had abortions before they were legal, and many died from botched procedures.
    How can you be for smaller government, yet put it ib between a doctor and their patients?

    April 27, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. John

    So you think it's wrong for me to own the gun of my choice, but its okay for you to kill the Baby of YOUR choice. Okay..... Yeah.

    April 27, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. JesusLovesAll

    God doesn't bless this. On the last day. Every stone will be unturned. Accept Jesus Christ into your hearts and lives today

    April 27, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. Demetra

    I am so sad, and I feel so guilty that I voted for this man. Although I hold many tenets of the democratic party very dear, I can no longer vote democrat in good conscience as long as they continue to support the slaughter of innocent babies.

    April 27, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  25. MesaMax

    So our president condones killing babies in the name of convenience. Seems to me that Hitler similarly dealt with the Jews, who were inconvenient, by killing them. And then put their bodies into the ovens. Just as these babies are placed into the ovens to dispose of their bodies. We have not learned from history. This president has not learned from history. He thinks this is progress.

    April 27, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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