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. Elizabeth

    NOW should be ASHAMED of themselves. Abortion is a CHOICE ... not something that should be paid for by tax money of any kind.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Really NOW?

    Really NOW? I'm a liberal Democrat but even I don't think The People should pay for abortions. "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." is just a little dramatic. No one is stripping away your rights. I am sure if you polled the country you would find that few people would want to federally fund abortions.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. James

    I do not see that a refusing funding for abortions equates to anti-choice. People still have the choice to have an abortion, just not to have the government pay for it. I believe this was a condition he had to meet in order to gain enough votes for the health care bill to pass.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. Vince

    Sorry ladies....not on my dollar. If you want to commit murder then by my guest....but not with my money.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Al

    Hey no offense but considering the massive cost of health care in this country shouldn't the money be focused on HEALTH CARE!!! NOT BIRTH CONTROL!!! We are facing the largest economic crisis in the history of the country. Our aging population is in desparate need of better healthcare. Uninsured young people are everywhere. People avoid going to the doctor because of the cost. AND AT THE END OF THE DAY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT PROTECTING THE GALACTICALLY STUPID OF THE WORLD WHEN THEY FORGET HOW CONDOMS WORK. GROW UP PEOPLE

    March 22, 2010 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. jane Stewart

    Women allowed this to happen. Women allowed it by allowing the Republications and Republican Democrats to use it. It has been a wedge issue for years, and years. Republicans haul it out of their war chest all of the time. It has helped them win the office of the Presidency and it will again. Women if they want federally funded aborttions need to start a campaing like women's suffurage. Women cannot be mealy mouthed on the national scene. They must demand want they and stay in the fight. When it comes to passing Health Care this is one women who will take Health Care over abortion.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Scott

    The President did not change any policies with the issue of this order. He merely reaffirmed the status quo and removed the health care bill as a platform for abortion rights activists to use in their cause. If that is what it took to pass health care reform then that is what leadership demands. He did not lend his full weight to anti-abortion causes as NOW alledges and his voting record is pretty clear on that issue, he just removed a distraction to the passage of reforms that are much needed. If NOW wants to burn bridges with a President who is more in favor of their causes than virtually any President in history, that is their right, but it is a foolish maneuver and one the right will celebrate.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lee

    So, what about those women get pregnant due to rape or incest, who are poor and cannot afford to have an abortion? What about pregnancies that put the woman's life in danger? So, what some of you are saying is that women who cannot afford an abortion on their own, that it's ok for her to be forced in to having the baby, regardless of the fact they have been raped, have been victims of incest, or where they could die. I know some of you would say that the woman could give it up for adoption, but what about all the other children in this world that are waiting to be adopted? What about the damage to these children who grow up and find out that they are a product of rape or incest, or that their mother died? And, where does it stop? If it's ok for the government to not provide federal funding for abortion, it leaves it open to add other things as well. Well, you did it for abortion, so you have to do it for people that try to commit suicide, or this or that... In my opinion, this is a bunch of crap. It's a woman's right to have an abortion if she chooses and it's no one else's business. Too many people are worried what others are doing. Why don't you butt out and worry about your own life? It's your right to believe abortion is wrong, but you don't have the right to force your beliefs on to someone else. If you don't like it then don't have an abortion. Period.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. JIM ARMSTRONG

    QUESTION: when does all of this actually go into effect? I know that the crooks in washington dc put effective dates on all the parts of any bill.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. John

    Good job Mr. President. Anything to save lives and help stop the pro-choice-to-murder group is welcome!

    March 22, 2010 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Laura

    Other than in cases of rape, incest, or the mother's life being in danger, an abortion is NOT healthcare... If you want an abortion, YOU pay for it... If you can't afford it, or if you have some common decency and sense, then invest in birth control (the pills, condoms, whatever) – even Plan B is a better option.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. babykiller

    it seems that what most of you have failed to realize is that Obama is stil personaly very much interested to support a womans right to choose, but in order to get the major health bill passed, he needed the few votes from his fellow democrats who are anti abortion in order to get it through the house. The anti abortion issue will have another day to which it alone can be modified in the health care package, but one bridge at a time please.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kevin

    NOW is way off base here. This is really about two separate issues: the right to an abortion and the right to have the government pay for that abortion. As for the former issue, whether we agree or not, Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land granting a woman the legal right to have an abortion. However, it is not her right to have the government PAY for that abortion. Rather than condemn the President whose bold and courageous efforts just provided health insurance coverage to 32 million American men, women and children who previously did not have it, NOW should instead encourage the use of condoms and other forms of birth control so that abortions can one day be the exception and not the rule when it comes to "after-the-act" birth control.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. Michael

    I absolutely support a woman's right to choose abortion. As a tax payer, I am obligated to contribute to many things, but I don't believe I should have to contribute to this proceedure. Just as I support her right to choose I believe she should support mine. Clearly I have no right to make moral choices for anyone else, nor do they have the right to make moral choices for me.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. Marc

    The President did what he had to do to get the votes. I congratulate him on his success for health care reform that has aluded the American people for 100 years. Now, the work begins to make this a good and effective Bill. Pregancy terminiation is still legal in this country whatever your position on the issue.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
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