President Obama spoke at the Planned Parenthood National Conference in Washington, DC, reaffirming the core principle that has guided the organization for nearly a century: that women should be allowed to make their own decisions about their own health. Speaking at the conference, he said, “No politician should get to decide what’s best for you. No insurer should get to decide what kind of care that you get. The only person who should get to make decisions about your health is you.”
This week the Senate took bipartisan action today to confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The President released a statement, saying, “Sylvia has spent a career fighting for working families, and she was part of an OMB team that presided over three budget surpluses in a row… Sylvia will be a key member of my economic team, and I look forward to working with her in the years ahead.”
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, participated in a number of events over the past week. Last week the White House, she joined with the World Bank and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to host a high-level dialogue of the Equal Futures Partnership – an initiative to break down barriers to women’s economic and political participation. Valerie Jarrett also wrote a blog about attending the launch of EMPOWERED, Alicia Keys’ new campaign to reach and inform women about HIV/AIDS.
Thank you for all that you do.
White House Council on Women & Girls
President Obama Speaks to the Planned Parenthood Conference
Today, President Obama spoke at the Planned Parenthood National Conference in Washington, DC, reaffirming the core principle that has guided the organization for nearly a century: that women should be allowed to make their own decisions about their own health.
President Obama thanked the doctors, nurses, advocates and staff who work tirelessly to keep the doors open for the millions of women who depend on the health services Planned Parenthood offers.
“Somewhere there’s a woman who just received a new lease on life because of a screening that you provided that helped catch her cancer in time. Somewhere there’s a woman who’s breathing easier today because of the support and counseling she got at her local Planned Parenthood health clinic. Somewhere there’s a young woman starting a career who, because of you, is able to decide for herself when she wants to start a family.”
“One in five women in this country has turned to Planned Parenthood for health care,” he said. “And for many, Planned Parenthood is their primary source of health care — not just for contraceptive care, but for lifesaving preventive care, like cancer screenings and health counseling.”
When politicians threaten to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, they’re “talking about shutting those women out at a time when they may need it most — shutting off communities that need more health care options for women, not less.”
Read the President’s complete remarks.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the 2013 Planned Parenthood National Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., April 26, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Today’s Girls Are Tomorrow’s Leaders
Last week, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the Council on Women and Girls, wrote a blog about attending Equal Futures Partnership: From Promise to Progress event at the World Bank:
“Last week, I attended the Equal Futures Partnership: From Promise to Progress event at the World Bank, to share progress made by the Obama Administration since the launch of the Equal Futures Partnership last September. The Equal Futures Partnership is a multilateral initiative that seeks to break down barriers to women’s economic empowerment and political participation so that every woman and girl can reach her full potential. It is a response to the challenge issued by President Obama in September 2011 at the UN General Assembly. He said, “Next year, we should each announce the steps we are taking to break down economic and political barriers that stand in the way of women and girls. That is what our commitment to human progress demands.”
“During the meetings, I was greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of other countries to empower women. Together, I know that we can create a world where every woman and girl has the chance to live up to her potential.”
Also last week, as a part of the Equal Futures Partnership, the White House launched the Equal Futures App Challenge to spur the creation of apps that inspire girls to become leaders in our democracy.
Learn more about the App Challenge and the notable app, Girl emPower, and read Valerie’s complete blog about the Equal Futures Partnership.
Courage, Strength, Resilience: Women Fight AIDS
Last week, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the Council on Women and Girls, wrote a blog about attending the launch of EMPOWERED.
“I attended the launch of EMPOWERED, Alicia Keys’ new campaign with Greater than AIDS to reach and inform women about HIV/AIDS, at an event hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. This is the second event that Alicia Keys and I have attended at Kaiser within the last year, both focused on ending AIDS.”
“The HIV crisis touches every corner of the globe. And it’s personally touched so many of us, including here at home. We all have tragic stories about how HIV/AIDS has affected our family and friends, and these stories propel us all to continue to fight to end this disease.”
“On our end, President Obama has recognized the need for immediate action. Here are just a few of the steps we’ve already taken to defeat AIDS:”
“President Obama released the nation’s first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy, a blueprint for how to make greater progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, through reducing health disparities and improving health and wellness for everyone living with HIV.”
“In addition to the progress that the Obama Administration is making on a policy level, Monday’s EMPOWERMENT launch by Alicia attests to the fact that all of us have the responsibility and ability to help end the disease. And that’s why Alicia’s campaign is so exciting.”
Read the blog here.
President Obama Honors the 2013 National Teacher of the Year
Twelve years ago, Zillah High School in Washington state had no engineering classes. The science curriculum was lagging behind, and students had to go off campus to take technology classes.
Jeff Charbonneau, who returned to his hometown 11 years ago to teach at Zillah High, was determined to change that. And he did. Science enrollment is way up. Kids are graduating with college-level science credits. The school expects to have to hire more teachers now to meet the demand.
And earlier this week, President Obama honored Jeff as the 2013 National Teacher of the Year.
President Obama said that what’s true for Jeff is also true for the other state Teachers of the Year, who stood behind President Obama at the event.
“They understand that their job is more than teaching subjects like reading or chemistry. They’re not just filling blackboards with numbers and diagrams. In classrooms across America, they’re teaching things like character and compassion and resilience and imagination. They’re filling young minds with virtues and values, and teaching our kids how to cooperate and overcome obstacles.”
Read more about this year’s National Teacher of the Year.
Young Scientists and Innovators Amaze President Obama at the White House Science Fair
On Monday, President Obama celebrated the remarkable achievements of student science fair winners and extraordinary kid innovators from across the nation in the third White House Science Fair. The Fair brought 100 students from more than 40 states to an all-day, hands-on celebration of the power and potential of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
As the President said in 2009, when he announced the first-ever White House Science Fair, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you’ve produced the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”
Read more about this year’s White House Science Fair.