President Obama appeared via video to the BlogHer Conference yesterday and spoke at some length about his commitment to women's health. His remarks caused a bit of a stir on the right, but they really shouldn't have.
The transcript is online, but in terms of public policy, the president talked about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, loans for women-owned businesses, student loans for millions of women to pursue higher education, and, of course, health care:
"Because of the new health care reform law -- Obamacare, I happily accept the term -- millions of young women are going to have coverage through their parent's plans. Children with preexisting conditions can't be denied insurance. Tens of millions of women with private insurance now have access to preventive care like mammograms, and are beginning to gain access to contraception at no additional cost. And pretty soon, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny you coverage because of preexisting conditions like cancer or pregnancy, or charge you higher premiums just for being a woman.
"I'm not going to give any ground to those who would deny women their own health care choices.
"Behind every one of these policies is a pretty simple idea: You, women, should have control over the decisions that affect your health, your lives, your careers. And if you share that belief, then I think you'll agree that the choice women face right now in this election could not be bigger. On the one hand, you have folks who plan to turn back the clock. They promise to take away access to health care and contraception. They talk about getting rid of vital services like Planned Parenthood. They're planning to spend trillions of dollars on new tax cuts weighed towards millionaires and billionaires."
As we discussed earlier in the week, the president clearly believes Republicans have made a mistake by picking culture-war fights this year, especially on issues related to women's health, and as Obama's BlogHer remarks suggest, he's likely to stay on the offensive through the fall.