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. Matt

    I didn't know there was anyone who thought every woman should just be able to get an abortion.... Turns out the NOW does.

    AFAIK this bill does fund abortions for incest, rape and when a woman may die. Anyone who thinks you need more than that are simply radical. Outside of the cases mentioned, condoms or the pill would prevent you from ever needing an abortion.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Debra

    Didn't you realize that everything is being given away for votes for health care. Whatever the President can give away to a senator for a yay vote was on the table.

    I wouldn't worry–once this horendous health bill is passed the president will rip up his agreemnt on abortion. Don't any of you see what is happening? He wouild move out of the White House if a no voting senator asked for it and sorry to say but I think he would give away one of his daughters to get this vote. And that is a hard thing for me to think but nothing is too sacred to get this bill passed.

    We are in such trouble!!!

    March 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kali

    The idea is to make progress. Getting this passed is a step. Right now it's a matter of getting enough votes. Tweaking can and will be done. People always want everything now. That isn't how the world works, get over it. Stop making everything about yourselves, how about thinking about those people that this DOES help.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John Wilbur

    Yes, it's unfortunate that this became necessary at the 11th hour in order to get the health care bill passed. Obama wouldn't have done it if the Republicans had a shread of decency and supported health care for their fellow citizens. But they don't. So don't blame Obama. Blame the Republicans who made it necessary. A study at Harvard reported recently that 45,000 Americans die early because they don't have health insurance. Remember – half of them are women.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Celeste

    Women have always been the burden bearers for this existence.

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

    NOW is missing the big picture. Executive orders can be rescinded after the dust settles, but we will never get this opportunity again to get comprehensive health care reform. I suppose NOW has to make this statement, but let's get this thing passed.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    It does not restrict women's access to abortion. They can still pay with their own money to kill the unborn.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Blake, San Diego

    Health Care Reform is much more than abortion. Besides, abortion isn't a medical issue, it's a moral issue. If you want an abortion, I shouldn't have to help pay for it. Put it on your own dime.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gerald

    Good for Mr. Obomma. He really is willing to compromise and maybe he's not so sure about that little baby in the womb being expendable.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tensai13

    Apparently its OK to spend ny tax dollars on illegal and unjust war in Iraq but not to support a woman's right to choose. We are firmly on the path to third rate nationhood.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brad

    Federal money shouldn't be spent on abortions. It's a state issue, not federal.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JLP

    With all of the prventivie measures available today to help women prevent pregancy, it seems to me that abortion should be an absolute last resort. Abortion is still legal and obtainable, it is just that tax sollars should not be used to pay for them. Seems fair to me.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MonasteryMonkey

    Tough...taxpayers should not be on the hook for paying for abortions. If these organizations spent their money assisting the women who need help instead of expecting the federal government everyone would be better served. Rape, incest and the health of the mother are covered in this legislation.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kd

    Please see the bigger picture, nOW members. There was never any funding for abortions in the original senate bill. You seem to have been duped just as Stupack and the other anti-abortion Dems and all the Repubs were (well, actually the Repubs knew better but just used it as another tool to try to block the legislation).

    It'll happen. One step at a time. Besides, it should be dealt with separately, on its own.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BonnieByrd

    I am pro choice, however, health care for all is a life or death issue right now for so many Americans that we have to make compromises to get this legislation passed. Bush already took Federal dollars away from abortions. We can find another way to take care of that issue. Let's get health care passed before we have to wait another century.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
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