(CBS News) In an impassioned appeal to women voters, President Obama on Wednesday continued hammering the Democratic message that Republicans are insensitive to issues surrounding women's health care, lambasting Mitt Romney for his positions on contraception and Planned Parenthood and warning an amped-up, mostly-female crowd that a Romney presidency could mean a retreat to 1950s-era health care policies for women.
Mr. Obama, speaking at a campaign event in Denver, emphasized his commitment to providing women with affordable care, touting a handful of provisions in the Affordable Care Act he says will benefit young people and women, and underscoring the differences between his vision for the nation and that of his Republican opponent.
"The choice we face in November could not be bigger," Mr. Obama told the crowd. "It's not a choice between two candidates. It's not even a choice between two parties. More than any election in recent memory, this is a choice between two fundamentally different paths for our country's future."
(Watch a clip of the president's remarks in the video to the left.)
Romney's economic policies, Mr. Obama said, are "bad enough," but he argued that the GOP's health care policies relating to women are downright old-fashioned.
"When it comes to a woman's right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century," he said, as the crowd went wild. "The decisions that affect a woman's health, they're not up to politicians, they're not up to insurance policies. They're up to you. And you deserve a president that will fight to keep it that way."
Citing his commitment to providing women - including his daughters, Sasha and Malia, and his wife, first Lady Michelle Obama - with equal opportunities as men, the president touted the appointment of Sonioa Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, and reminded voters that he the first bill he signed as president was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
"When my opponent's campaign was asked if he'd fight to guarantee an equal day's pay for an equal day's work, you know what the campaign said? They said, 'We'll get back to you on that,'" the president said. "That's not a good answer."
(Obama: Romney tax plan requires more gymnastics than the Olympics.)
"Mr. Romney is running as the candidate of conservative values," he continued. "There's nothing conservative about a government that prevents a woman from making her own health care decisions. He says he's the candidate of freedom. But freedom is the chance, the opportunity to determine for yourself the care that you need, when you need it."
In light of a new CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll showing the president trailing Romney in Colorado, the campaign is doubling down on its efforts to win over and energize women voters across the state.
Recent studies have shown that winning over single women voters - a fast-growing and increasingly influential demographic of voters - could be a key to victory in a number of the swing states, including Colorado, that both Mr. Obama and Romney are angling to win.