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. Jan

    As a woman who is pro-choice, I have to say that I am appalled at NOW over making such a big deal of this issue. Abortion is an elective procedure, and it should be treated as such. If I – or my sister, or my daughter, or my best friend – elect to have the procedure, I should have to pay for it, not the taxpayers of this country. This does not make me anti-choice; to say that is totally ludicrous. Abortion should always be safe and legal, but it IS an elective procedure, and should not be treated as anything else.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Phil

    We don't control what you do to YOUR body so don't expect us to PAY for YOUR decision.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bizzo

    Why is NOW mad about the language in the bill.... it does not deny a woman's choice, it just doesn't allow my taxpayer money to bail her out. I am okay with that because I believe in freedom of choice and individual responsibility.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Susan

    To National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill,

    Where have you been through this whole debate. YOU and your gal pals are not there until the decision has been made. As a NOW supporter, I have had issues with the way you have turned a blind eye to issues of violence against women. you are not, and never will be, Gloria Steinem.

    Get off your pedestal and get to work.

    We can't wait on you to "catch up" any more.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe

    I believe woman should have the choice, but I dont believe other people should pay for it via taxes. Doesnt make sense and to even ask for that is crossing the line in the other direction

    March 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Greg

    Ordering that Federal funds not be used pay for abortions is not a shift in his pro-choice stance. A woman can still get an abortion...she just has to pay for it. To insist that he stand on that obscure principle and watch the health care bill go down in defeat is ignorant. A woman still has a choice, but it includes birth control as well as abortions.

    March 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kaizen

    Has anyone read the part of the bill that says federal funding is not provided for abortions. It never has been allowed before this bill...and now this bill is only reinforcing it. The executive order is to make sure the rumors that the bill funds abortion is shown as a ridiculous lie. Everyone is so worried about change...the fact abortion was legalized by Roe v Wade actually lowered crime during the 90's. How's that for some statistics?

    March 21, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dr KK

    As a doctor who has worked in the inner city, there are far more women who will be helped by this legislation than harmed because they need an abortion. The women who are uninsured and/or unable to get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions vastly outnumber the women who are unable to afford abortions. This is a no brainer!

    NOW's comments are de facto anti-women statements and very poorly thought out in terms of the political realities that confront President Obama.

    March 21, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    Choice does not equal funding. This does not take away a woman's right to HAVE an abortion. It just prevents government funding for said procedure. I'm a woman and I believe the government shouldn't have to pay to provide abortions. An abortion is an elective procedure and there are other alternatives. How sad that NOW thinks this is a slap against womens rights. Women still have the right to procure an abortion. They just have to find a way to pay for it themselves, which isn't wrong.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Too Bad

    Frankly, as an American taxpayer, I'd really like to know where NOW gets off thinking they and their cronies can can get away with charging taxpayers like me to fund abortions where rape or the health of the mother isn't an issue. Shame, shame, NOW, you do a huge disservice to the premise upon which this nation was founded, and leave a bad taste in this reader's mouth

    March 22, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Victoria

    Actually, if you read the executive order abortions in the cases of rape, incest and risk of the mother's life are covered. In my opinion, those are the only ones that need to be federally funded. I don't think the government needs to pay for your abortion just because you chose to have unprotected sex. You're a grown woman, you know that if you have sex without a condom there is a risk of pregnancy. So, if you can't have an abortion because you can't afford it either spend the 5 dollars on the pack of condoms or go for adoption. You also have safe havens where you can surrender the baby. There are plenty of options.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. BDAWG

    I am okay with a woman's right to choose, but two things here. First, I don't think the federal government should have to pay for peoples' abortions. Second, we are talking about a compromise to pass legislation that will improve overall healthcare in this country. Frankly, I am very troubled by NOW's statement. One thing to support a woman's right to choose, another to expect the tax payers to fund abortions.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ginger

    OK, so instead of funding a few hundred dollars to have an abortion, our tax dollars will be paying much more for unwanted children through welfare, food stamps, foster care, etc. Personally, I am against abortion, but the right to choose is more important. Abortion is not the same as a tummy tuck or an "elective procedure"! The unwanted children will place far more burden on our society – especially since we are becoming more and more a government of Socialism, since January 2009!

    March 22, 2010 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. LISTEN UP

    If You make a mistake and need an abortion pay for it! The Children and Families struggling need this, anyone trying to stop it should take a minute to think of what it would feel like looking at Your sick child and knowing there is no insurance to take Him or Her to the doctor.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. BrotherJohn OfDallas

    i find it kinda offensive that NOW would lecture anyone on "settled law." there is nothing settling about using abortion as a casual form of birth control. everyone with common sense knows that most abortions are done matter-of-factly. not every tax payer wants to pay for this, and people have a right to vote. those women whose lives are truly at risk should be the only ones to contemplate such a very serious decision. and two independent doctors should verify this just to rule out any loopholes. nonetheless there are other aspects of the health care bill i hope work out for the benefit of americans without exacerbating the problem.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
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