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. Joe

    So, better that Obama fail to do what is needed to pass healthcare reform, thereby leaving millions of women not only without access to abortion, but also without access to any other type of non-emergent healthcare?

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

    That "handful of anti-choice Democrats" held the entire piece of legislation in their hands. Hello and welcome to reality!

    March 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bagman

    Some people view abortion as killing a human being, some do not. This is a hot-button issue. However, everyone wants universal health care. Let's leave abortion out and get health care. Otherwise, we get neither. We can debate abortion later. This is why we want leaders like Obama.

    Footnote: The two countries with the lowest maternal mortality rate also outlaw abortion. The USA places #40, and has the easiest access. ...I'm just sayin'

    March 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ken Pontac

    Another disappointment. I would have never voted for a McCain/Palin ticket, but every day I'm less happy with the choice I made. Change? Hope? Both fading.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. eanmd

    I am not a legal scholar but after reading this order it simply affirms what is in the Hyde statute and continues current practices. There has been no public funding of abortions except in rape or mother endangerment cases.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. vince

    Being pro choice is one thing. making a demand for the Govornment to use our tax dollars to pay for it is quite another. I am pro choice. However I would never agree to any program that pays for abortions with my tax dollars. If someone wants to get an abortion I feel that is there choice. Asking me (and everyone else) to pay for it is insane.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Martha

    As a woman who believes abortion is often a choice that leads to brokenness and loss, I believe strongly that abortion should be offered as a choice for women and men who cannot make the commitment to have a child and are unprepared to commit to the work of pregnancy, birth, and placing a child.

    What I struggle with in these harsh words by the leaer of the National Organization for Women, is that escluding federal funding is made synonymous with being ant-choice. There is a total disconnect here.

    Men and women who are resourceful enough to have sex and become pregnancy need to be responsible for paying for the abortion procedure. I do not understand the thinking that says that the govermment should pay for this procedure because I/we made a poor decision.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TRACI

    As a woman I am PROUD of the presidents decision. Abortion is being used as a form of birth control and should be stopped. There are to many ways for woman to not get pregnant. The best way is to KEEP THE LEGS CLOSED till in a committed relationship!

    March 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jill

    It seems like to me they used the abortion issue as leverage. It's really very sad and petty.
    I understand that anit-abortion people want to stop abortion, thats their opioion and that they don't want federal funding to go towards abortion. But there are lots of other things that I'm sure people don't want to pay for that they do.
    I can think of some situations with abortions where funding would be needed. Can you too?
    I wonder how this situation would be different if it were the men that had to have babies and not the women?

    March 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cathy Kayser

    It always baffles me how a group such as NOW, devoted to promoting women's rights and issues sees abortion as something positive for women. Half the babies aborted are, after all, female.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim Thomas

    Ok well are we talking about Health Care or Abortion??? How does pro-abortion over rule everything else??? How about educating people about the hazards of casual sex? Why is it the peoples problem when the individual doesn't use due care and attention towards their sexual needs. And because of their incompetence we or the government has to man up for the mistake that was made? Pro-Abortion or Anti Abortion, Education is the medium of the day. Not the taxpayers contributions for much more important issues! As crass as that may sound, I'm not a participant so I see no need to use my hard earned money to pay for your mistakes in life. Unless is an absolute medical emergency and a life threatening circumstance.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Heather Johnston

    Abortion = Murder. End of story

    March 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Wilsonart

    Whatever, it just means the government will not pay for it. If a women want's an abortion she can get it out of her own pocket just like a boob job or tummy tuck

    March 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Church Lady

    Well isn't that special.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kyle

    This is a waste of time. NOW needs to realize that if he left that on the table, this things wouldn't stand a chance. He is trying to get HEALTHCARE up and running, not abortions. Abortions are probably the first and most easily let go issue of this bill. No body in washington cares about your statement and 99% of citizens do not care. Further more, there are plenty of supporters for a woman's right to abortion who are extremely opposed to federal funding for it. I'm one of them. Having the right is what you deserve. Getting it paid for? Not at all. Unlike diseases or injury, pregnancy involves the moral issue that many people have with taking a life, in fact a large portion of those who support abortion rights, do not believe it is good and would never condone it, however, they are smart enough to say their opinion should not be law. You can't make these people pay for you abortion when they feel it is murder. You just can't, deal with it, grow up, and use a condom if you want to avoid this mess in the first place. I feel no remorse for you not being able to afford your abortion, you have the option to do it, you better get a loan or something if you want it. Be quiet!

    March 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
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