President Barack Obama. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
David Jackson, USA TODAY
President Obama told Planned Parenthood on Friday he will fight various efforts to restrict women's access to abortion, contraceptives and other services.
"When it comes to a women's health, no politician should get to decide what's best for you," Obama told delegates at a Planned Parenthood national conference in Washington. "The only person who should get to make decisions about your health is you."
Obama also reassured the group he would block efforts by congressional Republicans to shut off their funding, saying that many women see Planned Parenthood as their primary source of health care.
"Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere," Obama said. "It's not going anywhere today; it's not going anywhere tomorrow."
Some congressional Republicans say Planned Parenthood should not receive federal funding because it promotes abortion.
Obama did not use the word "abortion" during his remarks, but said the "right to choose" has long been upheld by courts.
Women voters provided heavy support to Obama in both of his election victories, and the president spent most of his speech defending women's rights, particularly in the area of health care.
Citing efforts in some states to restrict access to certain services, including abortion, Obama said it looks like some lawmakers want to turn back the clock to the 1950s.
Women's autonomy is one of the concepts behind the new health care law, Obama said, and he urged Planned Parenthood delegates to spread the word about how the new law works.