In a victory for pro-life activists, President Obama has canceled plans to deliver a keynote address at an annual Planned Parenthood gala on Thursday.
Obama canceled the engagement so he can attend a memorial service for the victims of last week's fertilizer plant explosion in Texas.
Press Secretary Jay Carney said in Wednesday's briefing that this change is to allow Obama “to spend more time with those injured and the loved ones of those lost in the deadly explosion in West Texas.”
Though the president moved is speech to another day, the shift from a keynote address at the annual gala to a lower-profile speech at a low-key morning event is significant, The Washington Times reports.
This may be a step in the right direction, but Lila Rose, who heads pro-life group Live Action, says it is not enough.
“President Obama swapping a Planned Parenthood fundraising gala Thursday night for an address on Friday shows that while he is certainly willing to avoid a photo of him at an abortion party while the nation mourns, he still refuses to distance himself from the nation’s No. 1 abortion provider and an industry that preys on women and defenseless children, as exposed through the Gosnell trial and other atrocities,” she told the Times.
Pro-life proponents urged Obama earlier this week to drop out of his speaking engagement altogether, considering the gruesome trial of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell currently taking place.
“It is incumbent upon the president to reconsider his support for the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood, which last year profited from abortion $87 million, committing over 300,000 abortions,” Rose said on Tuesday.
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood—the nation's largest abortion provider—applauds Obama's pro-abortion stance.
“President Obama has done more than any president in history for women’s health and rights," she says. "We are honored to have President Obama join us ... at this pivotal moment for women’s health.”
When asked about Gosnell's trial, Obama said he agreed with former President Bill Clinton that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.”
During his 2012 re-election campaign, the president taped a video message in which he praised Planned Parenthood and promised members that he would fight Republican efforts to cut their federal funding.