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. Dean, Oregon

    NOW, their Pres Terry O'Neill and other Orgs that share their view need to look on the positive side of the issue here. The bill is likely to pass and with it many women in this country will now be able to survive and live with debilitating illnesses and cancers that have kill millions prematurely. It is not all about abortion, so get over it.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Listen Doug, our previous republican president took this country into Iraq which has cost this country about $150 billion dollars per year since 2003, or about $1 trillion. Also during the 8 Bush years our US debt went up $2 trillion. You do the math.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    Right on Obama. Special interests should not deny our country essential change. Read Todd Gitlin "The Twiilight of the American Drea" to see why we on the left have failed to deliver. Noone will be denied an abortion because of this legislation. or the executive order. Abortion is a right. But we must move forward.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael

    Heath care bill = affects the whole nation
    anti-abortion = affects a % of the nation.

    lets pass the bill for the whole then work on the %.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris A

    As I understand it, the executive order just repeats what is already in the bill anyway. Obama just gave Stupak and his group of anti-choice Democrats some political cover, so they could vote for the bill, which they know is the right thing to do. Obama is a very savvy politician and a very forward-thinking leader. This health insurance reform bill will be the landmark of his first term in office, and the details of how it was passed will be forgotten years from now – all we will remember are the benefits we have gained from the bill. I am very happy to see the Democrats finally working together and really leading, getting important legislation passed. Immigration reform and climate change are still waiting to be addressed.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WVMountainMan

    NOW really needs to take a back seat. Federal dollars should not pay for taking of an innocent human life. NOW is way out of line with mainstream America and is proving itself to be a fringe group equal to that of those in Waco, TX a few years back.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rob

    Its a good time to start the discussion about how we do a better job of preventing these unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place. It is my strong belief that birth control materials, for both women and men, be made available free to anyone 25 and under, and from that age on, whether in school or in industry, the individual is responsible for their own means of obtaining the same. By the time one is 25, they should have a pretty good idea about the use of birth control and have the responsibility as a learned attribute to either use birth control to avoid conception, or refrain from activity that runs the risk of becoming pregnant. I'm tired of abortion being used as a means of birth control and tired too of others attacking the concept of access to free birth control material because it promotes sex. Hell, look at the marketing that surrounds just about every American on TV, in magazines and billboards, and tell me that's not worse than promoting free birth control materials. Time to bring this to a practical and pragmatic end.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ana

    I am a woman and am offended by NOW–how dare they claim to represent the views of all women? I do NOT agree with them on many, many issues therefore they do NOT represent me.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gale Hubley

    OK – women should be responsible enough not to get pregnant by accident and if they do, they should foot the bill for an abortion. Now apply that argument to smoking and over eating, and see how it feels. Babies raised in homes that don't want them by people who can't afford a simple medical procedure will become society's next problem.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mim

    Don't hold health care hostage over one issue. If we have to give up abortion coverage, so be it. Fight that battle another day. There is so much more at stake here. From simple infections to cancer, many people avoid going to the doctor because they can't afford it. Many times the next stop for the uninsured is the county morgue.

    Let it go.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anne Marie

    What i don't understand is why people have to pay for other people's choices. I consider Abortion to be like plastic surgery you don't want your nose fix it, you don't want a baby get rid of it.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. geo

    All this says is that federal funds won't be used for abortions. There is still choice for women, just no federal $. Seems fair enough to me.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mary

    Abortion is a choice as is cosmetic surgey- only with cosmetic surgey, a woman feels better about herself. That is not the case when a woman has an abortion. At least with most women. Abortion is a life-changing event that is performed on a woman who is in the most vulnerbale state of her life. Many women and girls who get abortions are forced into them by their relatives and/or boyfriends. Many ohters do not realize how it will affect them afterwards. So saying that it is a "women's choice" is not a measurable reason for allowing abortions. And to expect it to be paid by others is another selfish act of behavior.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sean

    Crikey, how hard is it to operate birth control pills or rubbers. Abortion as birth control .. paid on my dime? I don't think so. Obama has made the right decision here.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David

    The majority of youths with which I've been acquainted who have had abortions, did not receive insurance coverage for the procedure. They foot the cost either themselves or with the assistance of the individual they were with. On moral grounds its up to the individuals involved, but on financial grounds a properly motivated person can get by without this being covered. Given that this moral issue was one of the things holding up the health care bill from passing, and this does not constitute a step backwards from what we have now, I give the administration credit for getting the thing done in such a way that this concession did not immediately degenerate into demands for further concessions.

    It's admirable to go out and support a cause but the response from NOW is excessive. We're not talking overturn of Roe vs. Wade or any other significant erosion of current rights. We're talking about breaking barriers to the first steps toward real overhaul of our health system.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
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