The Washington Times - August 2, 2012, 06:01PM

Looking to expand his already strong lead among women voters, President Obama addressed a women’s blogger conference in New York City Thursday pledging “not to give any ground” when it comes to abortion rights or women’s reproductive issues.

“Millions of young women have coverage through their parents’ plans. They are beginning to gain access to contraception at no additional cost. I’m not going to give any ground to those who would deny women their own health care choices,” he told the crowd at the Blog Her event via a closed-circuit video feed while traveling in Florida. “Women should have control over decisions that affect your health, your lives, your careers.”


He then pivoted to a completely political plea, arguing that women who share his beliefs about their control over their health care needs and their lives couldn’t face a bigger choice this election.

Republicans and his GOP opponent Mitt Romney would get rid of Planned Parenthood and would take this country back to the days before abortion was legal, the president said.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows Mr. Obama leading Mr. Romney in three key swing states, especially among female voters. The gender gap in Ohio and Pennsylvania was striking, with Mr. Obama ahead of Mr. Romney by more than 20 points among women.

Despite Mr. Obama’s edge among women, Mr. Romney leads among men in the same two states: in Ohio by 10 points and in Pennsylvania by three.

Peter Brown, of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute, told CBS News that Mr. Romney needs to convince women that he understands their concerns in order to close the gender gap.

“He needs to increase his margin among married women and reduce the president’s margin among single women,” Mr. Brown said.