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. Scott A

    Not surprising the President chose this route. He's done everything he can to show he's not the open-minded person he claimed to be on the campaign trail. Telling women what they can and can't do with their own bodies is something only a bigot would be in favor of. It's not an issue of pro-life, these same anti-abortion people are hypocrites because they are for the death penalty – so its not a pro-life situation, it's an anti-choice situation they want to force women to accept. The President and the rest of the Democrats in Washington should really stop thinking they need to curry the favor of the GOP and the rest of their close-minded followers. The Republicans would like nothing better than to take away freedoms of the individual (unless its the 2nd admendment). Come on Democrats and Obama! This is the United States of America, not a 3rd world country that has yet to discover the importance of Civil Rights.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. grammi

    The health bill should not cover ending the life of an innocent. I sing praises for Obama.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Creed Jones

    Sometimes, people do the right thing for the wrong reasons. President Obama's promise to issue this executive order, all in the interest of passing the health insurance reform bill, is just such a circumstance. NOW's objections will have very little appeal to the general public, and only serve to marginalize their organization.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Barbara

    President Obama didn't break faith we me because I am a woman who has a concern for more people than just myself. It is more important to get health insurance than to be concerned about just the women who want an abortion. I am thinking about all men, all children, and all women who need to be able to afford medical care.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gerald

    The National Organization for Women...hey ladies...would you have rather accepted that this bill be DOA? Someone needed to give in in order to pass the better part...you should be content.
    I know Obama promised it, but give him a darn break! He can't just go it alone people!

    March 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sonia

    I think this comment by O'Neill is absolutely ridiculous. How can any even minded practical person fault Obama for trying to concede some major issues in order to get this health care bill passed? There has been enough opposition with the bill passing 224-206. So please, have little bit more respect and understanding when not everything can get passed. As a woman, who supports the right to choose I do not in any way feel offended or upset with the president for making this deal.

    Instead, I commend him and his staff for working so hard to get something passed. Once the bill is set in stone I think we can look forward to future abortion rights being worked into the bill. One step at a time, folks.

    IF you want to blame anyone.. please blame the conservative GOP or the dems that made abortion a central issue of this bill instead of focusing on the issue of curing health care. If we stopped spending so much time on the abortion issue maybe we could put our heads together and think up a stronger bill.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gump

    Why should taxpayers have to pay for abortions they have a moral objection to?

    I have a right to own a gun, doesn't mean the federal government is going to buy me one.

    I have a right to get married, doesn't mean taxpayers money should pay for my wedding.

    If a woman wants an abortion, she can get one, and pay for it herself. Not having it available for free is a deterrent to the irresponsible sexual lifestyles that lead to unplanned pregnancy in most cases. If abortions were free and easy to get, why would anyone bother being responsible about sex and birth control.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Elizabeth

    That is what happens when you believe all the kool aid...Hillary Clinton would have never have done this and she would have slammed these dem's. Serves you all right that belived everything he said and preched !!!!

    March 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Charles de Freitas

    Choice, choice, choice... A fine hijacking of the word.

    You cannot "choose" to murder or kill without it being called "murder" or "killing", and no dressing it up as a woman's right will change that.
    You have no right to murder or kill just because it's convenient.

    Does, for example, a man have any equivalent right to choose to murder or kill just because he's a man and is backed by say, a National Organisation of Men?

    March 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Adrian

    From what I understand, the Executive Order does not say a woman cannot have an abortion, just that the person would have to pay out of pocket. I fail to see where the problem is.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SPH Yerucham

    The anti-abortion executive order is a great move for getting the health care reform approved. Perhaps people can use their brains ahead of time and get free contraception instead of spending tax money on destroying what gives great holy joy to many when they see it pulsating with life on a sonagram screen.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 'Incensed' in California

    Yeah well 55% of us believed candidate Obama when he said he wasn't going to raise our taxes by one thin dime, so why should NOW have a corner on the market?

    March 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andrew Gianola

    Obama HAD to change this part of the bill in order for it to pass. Would these people prefer people to continue to die and suffer because they cant afford medical bills so that some women can abort their babies?? I am actually pro choice as well, but people need to be realistic and realize that there is no bill for ANYTHING that will please everyone. This health care reform is important, and above any other singular issue.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brian

    NOW is so narrow minded in their assessment. Why should American Tax-payers be forced to pay for the reproductive health-care of other Americans? When ever you see Federal-funded, it means tax-payer funded. NOW is out of touch with the majority of Americans who wants to see a smaller Federal Government and less tax-payer money going towards social programs.

    BTW – why is a white upper middle class organization such as NOW so interested in seeing abortions funded by tax-payers when the end result is that lower middle class black women can get more abortions? That is the bracket that is are having the MOST abortions.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CAW in MD

    What's more important to NOW - keeping abortion legal, or making sure that federal funds can pay for it? This is not an ideal result for NOW, but lets keep things in perspective - nothing in this executive order is going to take away a woman's right to choose.

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