In Historic Address to Planned Parenthood National Conference, President Denounces State Attacks on Women’s Health
April 26, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama addressed more than 1,200 attendees at Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s annual conference in Washington, DC this morning, denouncing the recent attacks on women’s health in 42 states, and reaffirming his commitment to fighting to protect women’s access to health care.
“One in five women in this country has turned to Planned Parenthood for health care. One in five. 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,” President Obama said in the speech to local and national Planned Parenthood leaders and supporters. The entire text of the president’s prepared remarks is here.
“President Obama has done more than any president in history for women’s health and rights,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America in her welcoming remarks. “We are at a pivotal moment for women’s health in America, facing unprecedented attacks in the states at the same time that we have tremendous opportunities to expand access to health care for millions more people under the Affordable Care Act.”
To watch the President’s speech, click here.
Planned Parenthood’s national conference is focused largely on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the single biggest advance for women’s health in a generation. The Affordable Care Act expands access to affordable, quality health care for millions of people, and includes a historic investment in women’s health, including a key provision allowing women to get birth control and other key preventive services without a co-pay. As the nation’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood helped ensure that women’s health is protected in the Affordable Care Act and will launch a campaign this summer to help newly eligible people understand the benefits and how to enroll.
“Now, I know how hard you worked to help us pass health care reform. You and your supporters got out there -- you organized; you mobilized; you made your voices heard. It made all the difference. But here’s the thing -- if Americans don’t know how to access the new benefits and protections that they’re going to receive as we implement this law, then health care reform won’t make much of a difference in their lives,” the President said.
“So I’m here to also ask for your help, because we need to get the word out…We’ve got to spread the word, particularly among women, particularly among young women, who are the ones who are most likely to benefit from these laws…And you are all in a unique position to deliver that message, because the women you serve know you and they trust you. And the reason for that is that you haven’t let them down before.”
The president’s remarks came on last day of the Planned Parenthood annual conference, the morning after the organization’s annual Gala honoring champions of women’s health.
At the Gala, hosted by new Planned Parenthood Youth Ambassador Rocsi Diaz of Entertainment Tonight, Planned Parenthood presented the legendary Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer with Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s highest honor, the Margaret Sanger Award, for her lifelong commitment to empowering women and men to talk openly and honestly about sex and sexual health.
The evening also featured Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, presented with the “Care. No Matter What.” Award for his dedication to protecting women’s health care in the City of Los Angeles, and a special Maggie Award for Media Excellence, honoring Lena Dunham of the HBO program Girls for her realistic and honest portrayal of the complex issues facing young women today. A special Partner of the Year Award was presented to social media site Tumblr.
To see photos from the president’s address, please contact the PPFA press office at 212-261-4433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see photos from the Gala, visit Getty Images.