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. Sage Nubian

    NOW, this legislation is NOT ABOUT ABORTION. This is about providing basic health care for ALL Americans, people who are sick and dieing because they simply do not have the means to go to a doctor and get help!

    Unless there are extenuating or medically-related circumstances, a person requesting an abortion should pay for it. The same goes for plastic surgery, tatoo removal, sexual organ enhancement, hair implants, etc. Get the point? Your organization wants to close the whole hotel because one room is not available.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jess

    NOW doesn't make any sense witht their statement. Pay for your own abortions if you want to. Who's back are you talking about? not mine or any reasonable American women.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dr. AMH

    I am ashamed to be a member of the National Organization for Women when I see this self serving and divisive wording our President Terry O'Neil has written. She has seen fit to end the open letter with "and we couldn't disagree more." Well as a member, I am a part of that "we" and you don't speak for me. As a physician, perinatologist, I have watched patient after patient being turned down for insurance coverage because of what the insurance underwriters called "pre-existing conditions". This historic bill effectively puts a stop to what was an easy way to deny needed and legitimate coverage for so many people. I am pro-choice and have performed many procedures that would fall under the term "abortion" and none of those have been elective. I have been called baby killer and I have been called a hero for saving the mother's life. You have shamed our great organization President O'Neil and your comments seem rather solipsistic.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. art

    Perhaps NOW would be happier with the GOP in power where they will make abortions ILLEGAL. Or would they prefer no HealthCare bill at all. The statement NOW is making is ridiculous.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. antoinette witscher

    Same old story, poor women will still have to resort to dangerous methods or opt to have the baby. Rich women will just pay for the abortion with no problem. There are millions of women out there who are saying to the (and I refuse to call them pro-life since who isn't pro-life?) anti-abortionists, WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES and stop taking control of my body. Shame on you President Obama.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Christy

    Having met a woman who had federal health insurance and could not get the insurance to pay for the abortion of her dead fetus, I must say that we need to think carefully before we put so many restrictions on this issue. Abortions are not just for people who get pregnant and realize that parenthood is not the answer, it is for others as well. And this undue burden at a very sad time is not acceptable.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Wisconsin Female

    I am pro-choice, and I do not understand why the health care reform bill should have covered abortions. At least in my state, there are clinics where some of the cost for abortions is covered. I am sure there are women who need abortions who struggle to pay for them, but I cannot see how this bill could have EVER been passed if it would have included federal funding for such a controversial practice. Let's focus our efforts on fundraising for organizations like Planned Parenthood, not getting angry at the president because the health care bill didn't include funding for abortions.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. lori jean

    I can not believe that NOW is upset with President Obama for not including abortion in the Health Care Reform Bill. I check my private insurance handbook which listed that abortion, tubular ligation was not covered. I do not think may private insurance do cover abortion procedures. It appears that most women have had to pay out pocket for an abortion in the pass. Therefore, medicade should not pay for an abortion unless is is required to save the mother's life. If a women elect to have an abortion then she should have to pay for the procedure and not the tax payers. I do not want to impose my values on someone who may be considering an abortion. That choice should be strickly between the woman and her physician and not the govt or tax payers. I bet that most of the Women in NOW private insurance plan do not cover abortion for an un-planned pregnancy either. I do not blame the president for not allow the health care reform bill from being held up or not passed because it just not support abortions for un-planned pregnancy. This Health Care Reform Bill was intended to make sure people could get basic health insurance and if someone want any additional coverage for other medical coverage then they should have to pay extra for these things. An abortion does not fall under basic medical health care.

    March 22, 2010 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. Garett

    Let's see.....First of all abortion is not murder and it will never be considered murder. Funny thing is all these posts that want the crack head to go ahead and bring the crack head baby into the world, yet where are they when this baby needs a home? Hell, lets talk about the billions of dollars our government gives foreign governments to build their armies and represent our interests by killing others who are fighting for something they think differently of. Is this murder? It never makes the news....Oh wait, I know. It's because we aren't killing Christians that makes it all ok. Faith is the hope of something more, not a law to lead your life by and try to force others to follow. Any opinion coming from a religious zealot whether it be in the form of spoken word, vote, or written word should never find its way into any decision that affects the lives of people who are supposed to be "living in a free country." Lets not forget the very reason this country was founded folks. I am sure this post will draw fire. That is not my intent. I harbor no ill will toward any religion. I simply find it hard to stand by and let others religions affect my life.

    March 22, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jessica

    As a woman who has had an abortion, I am happy that Obama excluded it from the Health Care Bill. I believe that if you want to have an abortion, you need to pay for it yourself. If you cannot afford it, give the child up for adoption.

    Abortion was myself & my boyfriends choice, but I would never have asked ANYONE else to pay for it for us. We had sex. We got pregnant. It was our responsbility from there. Nobody else's.

    March 22, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. Merle Terlesky

    Notice how the executive order exempts abortion for incest and threat to the mothers health. Thus its very obvious NOW wants abortion for any means and reason. Thus it is no longer choice is it? They dont want tax payers to have a choice at all.
    They want abortion on demand, that is why they are pro-abortion not as they say pro-choice.
    Thank you NOW for finally lifting the veil of secrecy regarding your real agenda.
    Canada.

    March 22, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Patricia A Roland

    I am so glad that the President has signed this Abortion bill. II do not want my tax dollars paying to kill babies!! hope this give a notice to women/men that they need to be more responsible when they make their choices. ~ Respect life, & the babies who are to be loved, not killed.
    Amen!!

    March 22, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. Zee

    I hope the federal government will also stop funding circumcision, which is usually also an elective procedure.

    March 22, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. Chinaz

    Don't feel bad women. Obama threw a lot his supporters under the bus to get this done. You are not alone in getting much less from this insurance subsidy bill than you wanted.

    March 22, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Morgan

    abortion is not an elective procedure for the many woman who are the victims of rape and incest. no one in their right mind would use abortion as a form of birth control – it is not exactly a pleasant experience. finally, if we shouldn't fund abortion because it is murder than we should also stop funding war and the execution of criminals.

    March 22, 2010 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
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