Obama to keynote Planned Parenthood gala

Update: Obama will address Planned Parenthood on Friday rather than Thursday, in order to spend more time in West, Texas.

President Obama will be the keynote speaker at an annual gala for Planned Parenthood on Thursday.

“President Obama has done more than any president in history for women’s health and rights,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement. “We are honored to have President Obama join us at our ‘Time for Care’ Gala at this pivotal moment for women’s health.”

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be honored at the event, along with Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and "Girls" creator Lena Dunham.

Obama's decision to appear comes at a time when Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has labeled Planned Parenthood a supporter of "infanticide," highlighting a video circulated among social conservatives in which a Florida representative from the family planning organization offered vague answers about what should be done with babies born after botched abortions. In a statement, Planned Parenthood clarified that in such "extremely unlikely and highly unusual medical circumstances ... Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant.”

Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations* spent about $15 million on the November election, mostly to help Obama's reelection effort. The group became an issue in the campaign, as Obama attacked rival Mitt Romney for promising to cut its federal funding.

* This sentence has been updated to clarify that Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes were the groups involved in the 2012 election.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · April 23, 2013