March 21st, 2010
06:19 PM ET

NOW 'incensed' over anti-abortion executive order

National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill issued a statement Sunday afternoon slamming President Obama, saying that he had broken his faith with women by agreeing to issue an executive order that prohibits federal funding for abortions.

"The National Organization for Women is incensed that President Barack Obama agreed today to issue an executive order designed to appease a handful of anti-choice Democrats who have held up health care reform in an effort to restrict women's access to abortion. Through this order, the president has announced he will lend the weight of his office and the entire executive branch to the anti-abortion measures included in the Senate bill, which the House is now prepared to pass.

"President Obama campaigned as a pro-choice president, but his actions today suggest that his commitment to reproductive health care is shaky at best. Contrary to language in the draft of the executive order and repeated assertions in the news, the Hyde Amendment is not settled law - it is an illegitimate tack-on to an annual must-pass appropriations bill. NOW has a longstanding objection to Hyde and, in fact, was looking forward to working with this president and Congress to bring an end to these restrictions. We see now that we have our work cut out for us far beyond what we ever anticipated. The message we have received today is that it is acceptable to negotiate health care on the backs of women, and we couldn't disagree more."

soundoff (516 Responses)
  1. Leland Lesher

    MS O'Neill, healthcare and abortons have nothing in common. Abortion is a matter of inconvenience, not healthcare. Whether or not one is for or against abortion, let's at least be honest about it. Abortions that take place do not enhance a woman's health care. Abortions that do not take place do not enhance a woman's health care. Abortions, like carrying a baby to full term and delivery are choices and have very little, if anything to do with health care. The President can remain pro-abortion while representing ALL Americans on health care reform. For pro-abortion women, having an abortion is as elective as having a tummy tuck or face lift. For anti-abortion Americans it is much, much more than an elective surgery. If you personally want a face lift, tummy tuck, or abortion, go for it on your own finances. But do not EXPECT all Americans to have to fund if for you or anyone else. It is the extreme form of elective procedures and the economy just cannot handle elective, medically unnecessary procedures. Tax payers should not be forced to fund elective procedures.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Courtney

    As staunchly pro-choice as I am, I don't see why NOW is getting all upset.
    The ban on federal funding for abortion has been in place for a while now. I don't agree with the ban but it is what it is. I'd gladly donate to candidates who are against a ban on federal funds for abortions.

    Of course I'd much rather focus on preventing unwanted/unplanned pregnancies than harking on abortion all day long.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Karen Kimbel

    Yeh! for the Pro choice lobbiest! I can't believe that anyone would want our government would want us to support child killing!! That's what abortion is you know??!! If we ever surrcome to our government paying for killing babies, we will certainly be under the wrath of God and I fear for all of us. God bless the United States, and Obama for doing the right thing for our country!

    March 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Roger Janofski

    Who are the 10 million people who will still not be included in the insurance reform bill?

    March 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Doreen

    I am a strong supporter of a woman's right to choose. However, NOW can't see the trees for the forest. You really didn't believe that the health reform bill was gong to change the Hyde Amendment, did you? If you did, you should reconsider being involved in policy because you cannot see the trees for the forest, literally.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ana

    That's right ladies.... HE LIES.

    Remember that next time you are asked to vote for him...

    Let us pull together and put an end to this violation of our reproductive rights...

    Let us help those institutions that offer women assistance with these services despite the intrusive legislation introduced by hypocritical politicians, exchanging our rights for votes.

    Why can't we be like the European Union???

    ABORTION PREVENTS CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT – and saves millions in tax dollars coming to the aid of those children the system has "saved"

    March 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff

    Dear NOW:

    I am a little incensed that you would risk the health of millions of Americans to ensure that federal dollars are spent for abortions. As the order states, cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother's life are already excepted from this restriction. But most Americans–even many who are "pro-choice" don't feel the need to dedicate tax dollars for other abortions–the vast majority of which are elective. If a citizen wants an elective abortion, then the woman AND the man who contributed to the issue can come up with the funds for it. This was not an issue to derail an entire healthcare plan, and NOW needs to see the bigger picture here. A lot more people need healthcare than will ever need an abortion. AND, just maybe, this expansion in healthcare will result in more contraceptive use so that fewer women will find themselves struggling with the decision of whether to have an abortion to begin with. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right?

    March 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kg

    I am a physician..and pro-choice. However, I am strongly opposed to taxpayer money covering this procedure. I can't see how refusing tax payer funding for abortion "restricts" a woman's access to abortion. Why can't those individuals seeking this procedure be financially responsible for it? Isn't there any personal resposibility left out there?

    March 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    At some point, we will advance as a society enough to realize that all killing is wrong, including the murder of the unborn. We as a society must work to provide realistic and well-supported (funded) alternatives.

    I would rather see my money go to the prevention of unwanted pregnancies than further this era of no accountability.

    Even in cases of rape and incest, we must learn to deal with the fact that fate/life sometimes deals us with an incredibly poor circumstance. A measure of an individual is calculated on how one responds to such challenges.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steven Patterson

    So if a woman has to pay for an abortion herself, we have somehow limited her choice to have one??? Why doesn't NOW furnish funds for women who want to have abortions but don't have the money. I too am pro choice, but not pro stupidity. Choose to use birth control, chose to get pregnant, choose to have the baby or have an abortion, and choose that you have to pay for what ever your decision is out of your own pocket. No one should make that choice for you, it is and should be your right. But don't expect the federal government to foot the bill.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Andrea

    Why is this even an issue? Abortion is a LEGAL medical procedure. If you morally object to having one, don't have it. There are lots of things that my tax money is funding that I don't agree with (religious institutions being tax-exempt, for example) so it seems pretty unfair to single this issue out and put all kinds of restrictions on it just because some people have moral objections to it. The law is not the place to enforce one group's opinions about morality.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FLZunner

    In this day and age, with all the birth control methods available, if a woman gets pregnant, she should be responsible. Unless in the case of rape. But let's be real. In 90% of cases, it could have been prevented.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DanS

    The issue here is federal funding and upholding current law. Early in his campaign, Mr. Obama wrote an email that though he was officially pro-choice, his desire was to see that abortion is rare. As we see, there are increased resources in this bill to help women so that abortion is not the only choice, in addition to the tax creidt for adoption. The common sense question, regardless of beliefs or convictions, is that who stands up for the rights of the unborn child?? President Obama may be pro-choice, but it doesn't mean he has to have the federal government enable abortion when funding is there to help prevent them.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tamara in montana

    Not just disappointing but possibly immoral and certainly it's health care bias against women. Abortion is a medical procedure and private health matter between a woman and her health care provider. Period.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ran

    I could not agree more with NOW. Another deal made because of the fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans. The deals made for stupak(d) ,Lieberman (i), nelson (d), lincoln (d) and the other (d) blue dogs never needed to happen if Republicans were not so hell bent on trying to make this President fail.

    The blame belongs to the Republicans, blue dogs and Lieberman/Stupak. We need to get ride of them all and vote in true Democrats or Independents in 2010/2012.

    Then we need to end this insanity over abortion and make a constitutional amendment allowing any woman who wants one to get it. This issue belong with the woman and her Medical provider not the government.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
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