President Obama addressed the nation’s largest abortion provider Friday, criticizing pro-life laws on the state level and saying that those who wish to restrict or ban abortion are trying to turn back “progress,” Baptist Press reports. Obama never mentioned the word “abortion” during his speech at the Planned Parenthood gala, preferring words such as “choice.” Planned Parenthood performed a record 333,964 abortions during 2010–11, the most recent year for which statistics are available. He became the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood. “After decades of progress there’s still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century,” Obama said. “And they’re involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health. Forty-two states have introduced laws that would ban or severely limit access to a woman’s right to choose.” He mentioned, by name, two states: North Dakota and Mississippi. Obama did not discuss Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor who allegedly practiced infanticide in his clinic and faces counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of viable children who were killed after delivery. President Obama ended his address by saying to Planned Parenthood, “God bless you,” notes.

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