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Planned Parenthood Annual Gala

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MISSOULA - Planned Parenthood held its Annual Gala Friday, to celebrate almost 100 years of women's health care.

"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," President Barack Obama said.

The President spoke at the event, saying for more than a 100 years, women have been allowed to make their own decisions about their health.

Across the country, and even in Montana, opponents of women's health clinics, especially Planned Parenthood, criticize them for providing abortions.

"I would say it is just as big of a deal for Montanans as it is nationally," said Planned Parenthood Male Services Outreach Educator Joe Slemberger.

Slemberger said Friday was about putting politics, and even gender aside. He said while Planned Parenthood receives a lot of attention and criticism for the services they provide to women, they also provide services to men.

"I do think it's a stepping stone," Slemberger said. "More and more people are concerned about our health. We've been able to also serve more men."

Slemberger said they're trying to expand services, and Montana recently got a new men's health clinic to educate men in reproductive health and family planning to take some burden off the women.

"I think it's great," said Slemberger. "We've been able to expand, and increase our reach to so many people over the years."

 Slemberger said the Missoula office will try to keep expanding its services to try and provide affordable health care to as many people as possible.

The group turns 97 this year, with its official birthday in October.

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