WASHINGTON, D.C., February 7, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Barack Obama addressed abortion activists at NARAL Pro-Choice America's annual dinner on Tuesday, saying in his videotaped remarks that he was joining them to “celebrate the historic Roe v. Wade decision handed down 40 years ago.”
“To everyone at NARAL Pro-Choice America, thank you for your tireless advocacy,” Obama said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the work each of you is doing.”
Supporters of the powerful abortion lobby paid between $3,000 and $25,000 per table to attend the event.
In his video address, Obama praised the group’s outgoing president, Nancy Keenan, calling her a “friend and counselor to me and my administration.”
He welcomed her successor, Ilyse Hogue, who in a video released this week by NARAL called legalized abortion “foundational to every other thing we want to achieve for ourselves, our families, and our country.”
Hogue attacked the conservative TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party movement in that same video, saying “The rise of the TEA Party has surfaced a real desire on the part of a few to ramp up restrictions on women’s freedom and to do what I call ‘stuff the genie back in the bottle.’”
As one of her first actions as NARAL president, Hogue last week praised the Obama administration’s controversial HHS mandate, saying it “affirms yet again the Obama administration’s commitment to fulfilling the full promise of its historic contraception policy.”
Hogue said her group will continue to publicly support the HHS mandate.
Last year, NARAL spent approximately $250,000 on radio ads backing the policy, which forces private employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortion-causing drugs to all female employees, regardless of religious objections.
“Our ultimate goal is to improve the lives of all women by providing them the freedom to choose when and whether to have children,” Hogue said. “We will watch closely as the policy is implemented by health plans in the coming months to ensure this regulation will do just that.”
The keynote speaker at the NARAL event was former Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter, whom Obama complimented in his video message, calling her “an exceptional pick for pretty much any job, if I do say so myself.”
Cutter attacked Obama’s 2012 campaign opponent Mitt Romney in her remarks, along with his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan.
According to Cutter, during the 2012 elections, Obama campaign staffers would joke about Romney that “when he watched Mad Men, he thought he was watching the 11 o’clock news.”
She criticized Congressman Ryan for co-sponsoring a bill before the current Congress designed to defund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. “Now, if their own failed vice-presidential nominee is still trying to roll back the clock, you tell me, did they really learn the lesson of the 2012 election?” asked Cutter.
Below is the full text of Obama’s video message, as printed by the The Washington Post:
Good evening, everybody.
Tonight, we celebrate the historic Roe v. Wade decision handed down 40 years ago. But we also gather to recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her right to reproductive freedom, because we know that we are better off as a nation when women are treated fairly and equally in every aspect in life, whether it’s the salary you earn or the health decisions you make. This is a country where the success of all of us depends on the empowerment of each of us, where all Americans should have the freedom and opportunity to reach their potential. And I know that’s what you’re fighting for every day.
So, to everyone at NARAL Pro-Choice America, thank you for your tireless advocacy for the health and well-being of women and families. I’d especially like to thank your outgoing president, Nancy Keenan, who’s been a friend and counselor to me and my administration. And I welcome Ilyse Hogue, who we know will continue Nancy’s legacy of outstanding leadership of this organization. Finally, congratulations on your keynote speaker, Stephanie Cutter, an exceptional pick for pretty much any job, if I do say so myself.
I couldn’t be prouder of the work each of you is doing to make this world a fairer and more just place for all Americans. And I look forward to continuing that work with you in the years ahead.