President Barack Obama charged Republicans with being more concerned about blocking health care for women than putting the country back to work.
Speaking to the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, Obama said Republicans should be supporting his jobs plan but are more focused with undoing the health care law and trying to defund Planned Parenthood, CNS News reported.
"They’re spending time focusing on how to turn back the clock," Obama said. "Instead of figuring out how to put more Americans back to work, they’ve been trying to figure out how to take away preventive care that is covered under the Affordable Care Act. Instead of making life easier for women in this country, they want to let insurance companies go back to charging higher prices just because you’re a woman."
Defending government funding of Planned Parenthood, he added: "Instead of working to boost our economy, they’re out there spending time trying to defund Planned Parenthood and prevent millions of women from getting basic health care that they desperately need –– pap smears and breast exams."
"These folks know know they can't win on the big issues so they're trying to make the fight about social issues that stir up their base," Obama said.
Over the summer, the Obama administration signed off on a recommendation requiring all insurance companies to cover the cost of contraceptives as part of preventative care for women. Conservative groups have heaped criticism on the administration, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who called it an "unprecedented attack on religious liberty."
Obama also told his audience Wednesday that though many positive strides have been made for women, there is still "a lot more work to do."
"Change doesn’t always happen quickly or easily," he said. "It’s laborious, sometimes it’s frustrating, but it’s real."
Imploring the audience to stay on their members of Congress and demand action on his jobs plan, he vowed to keep doing everything he can to "help every single American achieve their own piece of the American Dream" in a "world where every door is open” for American women.
“We’ve got to make sure that…somebody is standing up for [women], somebody is fighting for them, somebody is looking out for them,” Obama said.
Watch Obama's full remarks below. His comments begin at the 15:10 mark: