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Obama Presses His 2012 Courtship of Women

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The president continued his outreach to female voters on Monday with a commencement speech at Barnard College, call to make May 13-19 National Women's Health Week and an appearance on the "The View."

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President Barack Obama continued his outreach to women on Monday with a commencement address to nearly 600 female graduates of Barnard College in New York urging them to strive for leadership positions and become more politically involved, The Washington Post reported. 

“You are now poised to make this the century when women shape not only their own destiny, but the destiny of this nation and this world,” Obama said. “Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.”
 
During his remarks, Obama invoked his daughters, Malia and Sasha, to emphasize that he has a personal stake in the debate over the rights of women to earn salaries equal to men’s for equivalent work and to receive health-care benefits, including contraception coverage. “We know we’re better off when women are treated fairly and equally in every aspect of American life, whether it’s the salary you earn or the health decisions you make,” Obama told the graduates.
 
After his address, Obama was scheduled to tape an appearance on the ABC talk show “The View,” whose five female co-hosts will interview him for a segment that will air Tuesday.
 
With women's health care emerging has a major election theme, the president declared Monday that May 13 through May 19, 2012, will now be known as National Women's Health Week, in a press statement.
 
He also touted his achievements for women's health with the Affordable Care act.  “Beginning in 2014, many insurers will no longer be allowed to charge women higher premiums simply because of their gender, and it will be illegal for most insurance companies to deny coverage to women because they have a pre-existing condition, including cancer or pregnancy. Health plans will also be required to cover maternity care,” Obama said.
 
On Mother’s Day, Obama's campaign released a video of the president acknowledging the influence of “strong responsible women” in his own life, naming his wife Michelle and mother, Ann Dunham.
 
The video ends with the president highlighting his support of the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which expanding workers’ rights to sue in payroll discrimination cases.
 
In a similar effort, the Romney campaign released a video produced by Mitt Romney’s sons in tribute to their mother, Ann Romney, and focusing on how the president's economic policies have failed women.
 
The Obama campaign has targeted women voters heavily in the wake of national debates over contraception and working mothers.  The president enjoys a wide lead over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney among that group in national polls.
 
 Earlier this month, his campaign released an online tool called "The Life of Julia," which walks users through the life of an average, middle-class woman and shows how she will benefit from Obama's health and education policies.
 
 
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