The president went on to suggest that people on both sides of the debate agree on the importance of working to reduce the number of abortions that take place.
"While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make," said Mr. Obama. "To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services."
The president released the statement on the same day that tens of thousands of anti-abortion activists rallied on the National Mall. Organizers have suggested that Mr. Obama's election threatened to set back their cause.
"Today, passionate Americans from coast to coast gather in Washington, D.C. to march for the rights of all," Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan said in a statement. "Protecting the sanctity of every life is the responsibility of this nation. I commend the efforts of each person assembling here today, and praise those working to defend the ones who cannot defend themselves. I hope the work of those marching today leads to a renewed appreciation for every human life."
In his statement, the president tied his position on abortion rights to opportunities for women nationwide.
"On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams," said President Obama. "That is what I want for women everywhere."