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. Helene

    I guess I should be "incensed" that NOW would presume to castigate Obama "on behalf of women" when, in reality, there are many of us who believe that he did the right thing in this case. I would never presume to tell another woman that she must or must not have an abortion. However, I would like the government which represents me to refrain from funding abortions. And I would like NOW to be honest and represent its own constituency rather than pretending to speak for all women.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Carol

    Everything about the Hyde Ammendment is the same as it ever was, the only thing that was added was that loop holes were closed if they ever even existed anyway. Women who are raped, or have been used in incest, or lives may be in jepordy are still covered for abortions. Don't understand why NOW is so upset.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. susan clarke

    If these women were truly PRO CHOICE, they would realize that the CHOICE is whether or not to have sex and accept the consequences which could result in a pregnancy NOT to make the choice to terminate a pregnancy after it occurs – DUH!!! Has eve one of these women given any thought to the possibility that her mother could have made the CHOICE NOT to have her??

    March 21, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    If you want to have an abortion...you are legally able to get one. Just don't expect the american people to fund it. Public funding should never be used for such a controversial issue like that.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Walter Jasniewski

    Why should tax payers have to pay for abortions??? How about being responsible and taking responsibility for your actions? Rape, Incest, and Life Saving abortions are already covered.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Zaggs

    O'neill should just chill. She should know no executive order trumps congressional law. Besides they wont have to twist Obama's arm too much to revoke the Stupak executive order with another executive order. It won't happen tomorrow, but a month or two down the road, on a friday night, it will be voided.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert

    As a practicing Catholic I do not judge nor condemn women who choose to have an abortion. However, the healthcare bill is a piece of legislation to address the need for healthcare and I don't think anyone will really believe that an abortion procedure, which is a "choice" for those that have one is a healthcare need. As a result, women have the choice to have abortion at their own expense but definitely not at the expense of everyone else. Furthermore, a healthcare bill that funds aboriton is to me the equivalent of asking for it to pay for liposucition, cosmetic sursgery etc... All of these procedures are carried out by personal choice and not a healthcare need. Finally, Obama agreeing to issue the executive order does not reflect on him not respecting the women's right to choose but rather his correct assumption that abortions are not a basic healthcare needs that needs to be paid for with federal funds. On the other hand, women will now have the opportunity to provide healthcare for their children in a manner that will be more affordable and accessible. At least now, lack of resources to take care of a babies health will no longer allow any of these women to justify them not bringing a pregnancy to term because they cannot afford it. At least this way now babies can be born and then be given up for adoption, which in my humble opinion would be the right thing to do.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Maggi Dourm

    My husband and I for 3.5 years paid $1,300 to $1456 a month when I did not have healthcare through work .Im a Type 1 diabetuc.When Cobra ran out we had to go with Anthem.The estimate for our insurance for two of us by the time I was 50 was 35.000dollarws a year.So Mr. Boehner you say its Armagedon,got news for you been there and got the canceled checks .You give up your cushy government health care and we'll talk Thank god someone is going to create a way for people like me to buy insurance.Medical bills are one of the top5 reasons for bankruptcy.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lynn Meredith

    I am also very upset that the White House has chosen to throw women under the bus, particularly the poorest segment of American women who cannot afford to bear an unwanted child. It is unfortunate that these are the women that cannot support or properly parent such a child. American society ends up paying the price one way or another. We'll be supporting them on welfare, with food stamps, or in jail as many of them have no chance in life.

    But it's all about the religious nuts who now only foist their narrow-minded views on us, but choose to ignore the fact that the right to an abortion is a legal right.

    Very disappointed in the Obama White House for double-crossing their supporters.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim Smith

    We need healthcare reform. Sorry, NOW, but now is not the time for your cause. What would have happened if the bill were filled with stipulations to make abortions available to all women and paid for by the government? We'd see no healthcare reform at all because there's no way it would pass. So even though I'm a pro-choice liberal, right now I want to see healthcare reform. Wait until next year for your cause, thanks. Don't derail it just so you can stand up for what you believe in.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Casprd

    Even though I am pro-choice, I don't think this is something the government needs to be paying for. Nothing in the bill or in the Presidents statements have changed his position. If the women want to have an aborition it is perfectly legal, they just have to pay for it. What's wrong with that? If I want to have some elective surgery then I have to pay for it so why is htis any different? An abortion is generally an elective procedure.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shawn

    I couldn't be more happy with President Obama's decision to stop the federal funding of abortion in this bill. Just as you believe you have a right to choose life or death for your fetus, I believe I should have the right to choose whether or not I have to pay for it. If you want to abort your baby because of your own lack of responsilibity, or whatever it is, then pay for it both morally and financially.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. First Last

    "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." If getting Health Care Reform passed means this exclusion for abortion, then those of us that are pro-choice will accept this, and donate to Planned Parenthood to help those in such a need.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bruce Benton

    I am strong pro-choicer, and have always been so. But I think NOW needs to grow up. How can they possibly think that improving the status quo on abortion rights should trump getting a health care bill which will inprove the rights of tens of millions of American women. The president's language allows for American women to maintain their legal right to an abortion while substantially improving their overall health care. It's a win-win for American women. Without the president's language, there would have been no health bill and no change in the status quo on abortion rights. Moreover, the president would have become much weaker and hence less able to maintain free choice for American women in the future.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe Rider

    NOW needs to realize that this Executive order does not change the present law of the land anymore than the Stupak amendment or the original bill did. The Hyde amendment is in place like it or not so give Obama a break. I am pro-choice only because I do not want government to impose my or anyone's deep held religious beliefs on a women and her own body. It is her soul and free will but I do not want one penny of my tax dollars supporting it. You can't impose your beliefs in this area on me too. It is a two way street.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
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