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. Jack

    They should realize they helped elect a man with no ethics. He will do anything to get his name in the history books next to the other great socialist presidents and to leave a legacy. They elected him they get what they paid for.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Stan

    You need health care reform to fight cancer, disabilities and illness for the millions of Americans who don't have adequate health insurance (or adequate employment for that matter!). I understand and agree to that argument.

    What I don't understand is why would a personal *choice* matter like an abortion fall under federal funding initiatives. After all, we are for *choice* aren't we – as in "pro-choice"? The requester of the abortion was careless and now wants the government to help defray the cost. This I do not agree with.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin

    OK... I'm about as pro-choice as they come, but even I have a problem with using tax dollars to pay for an abortion (-except in cases where the womans life is in danger or the pregnancy resulted from a crime (i,e, rape, incest etc...))

    What a woman chooses to do with her own body is her own business, just dont expect the taxpayers to foot the bill just because she was irresponsible or her birth-control failed.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. psturges

    As an ardent feminist, I would say to NOW: How about the greatest good for the greatest number? I am so sorry that abortion foes got this far, but I think giving almost 37 million people health care is a greater need. psturges

    March 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lilarose in Oregon

    I will contact my congressmen and see what can be done about this down the line. My Oregon state congressmen are pro-choice.

    I am ready to vote Obama out of office over this.

    We women will fund abortions for other women across this nation. I don't like abortions, but it is not up to me or congress to decide whether or not a woman will be forced to carry a man's child.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. J in L.A.

    I am pro-choice, but I also don't believe that government (tax) money needs to be spent on abortions. Having a right, such as the right to choose abortion, doesn't mean that the government has to subsidize your exercising of that right. Abortion is such a polarizing issue that I understand why it had to be taken out of the health insurance reform debate.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. aelric

    On the backs of women? What about pregnant women who would like to give birth to a healthy child, but have no health care? Are women who want an abortion the only women that matter? And what about women (and there are a great many) who are outraged by the idea of their money funding a practice they consider morally reprehensible. This is reminiscent of their continued support for Bill Clinton in spite of his philandering and a sexual harassment suit. They had no credibility then, and they have none now.

    NOW is misnamed. It is not a national organization of women, but rather a clique of liberal women who are willing to throw every other social concern under the bus in order to protect a right that half the women in America don't even want.

    And, yes, I'm a woman.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. C. Smith

    Obama promised alot of things he didn't deliver on. I don't understand why NOW is so surprised.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. david

    please.. and the healthcare should die for people who want abortions not over rape, incest or life threatening means?,

    March 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Christopher

    Please! When the health care bill becomes law more women will be able to have check ups, mamograms, breast cancer screenings and be protected from the whims of the insurance industry. That's what needs to be focused on. Women can still have an abortion if they want! Cancer and other diseases can best be treated and in some cases cured when you have health care. Outside of rape and incest, pregnancy can be responsible!!!!

    March 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MikeF


    Nobody goes to a clinic to have a choice performed. They have an ABORTION.

    There are two camps here: One is pro life and the other is pro abortion.

    It isn't anymore complicated than that.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mathi

    Correction Terry, the President signed an executive order to appease a few anti-abortion Democrats, the Republicans, and the majority of Americans who do not want federal funds being used to pay for abortions. Those who don't like it, move north, even better, move south.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PRR

    read it and weep NOW; your days of controlling the Democratic platform are numbered!!

    March 21, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. snadjafinia

    Thats pretty pathetic obama. Where are your guns at? I really like you man, and this is what you do? Do you know right from wrong? If you are reading this, do the world a favor and slap yourself in the face.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sue

    Healthcare reform may not have passed if federal funding for abortions were allowed. I am pro-choice, but I think the president did the right thing in order to pass healthcare reform. NOW needs to realize that concessions had to be made.

    March 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
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