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. Susan

    I am a Pro-Choice woman, but I am sick and tired of the abortion issue holding our country hostage! We need the Healthcare reform. Abortion will still be legal, and let's not forget about the availability of contraception AND the morning-after pill. Enough already!

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

    Obama sold his soul to the Cathofascists...were no better than Iran now.

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

    Just curious:
    Do those who support abortion rights also support the legalization of prostitution? I actually agree that a person has inalienable rights to their own bodies. Therefore, a woman should be able to decide the progress of her pregnancy and to also turn herself into a commodity

    March 21, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Corie

    Finally! A sensible decision by our commander in chief.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rob

    There is nothing in the constitution that specifically states a willful separation of church and state, other than to state that the government shall specify no one religion as that of the state. The concept of separation of church and state was first put forth by Thomas Jefferson in writings that he penned after leaving the Presidency. This concept has been used by jurists to help when deciding legal matters, but unless specifically amended to state the same, there is no Constitutional wording that does that. So, there is freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and an interpretive freedom of religion, but as the writer did state, there is no freedom from religion either.

    Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines 🙂

    March 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Manuel

    To me, this such a farce. Obama won't change his executive order because he knows it will ruin his cred. But I can assure you the next Democrat elected as President will get rid of the executive order. This is just a idiotic way to pass the health care bill and so that Democrats in conservative districts don't look bad to their voters.

    There are still provisions for those who are raped, in danger of their lives, etc.. Those who demand all abortions paid for by the government, well, I really feel sad that you would feel so open about that. I love my son. I would love him if he were not healthy. I would love him no matter what happened to him. I can't imagine at any moment thinking I would want to terminate him. I would be all for providing government paid one way sterilization. I just don't support government paid abortions.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JP

    Abortion is legal in the United States of America. If you and your religion believe it's murder that is your right and you don't have to have an abortion. Others do not believe it is murder and want the right to choose it as an option. Do any of you know that most abortions are done on married woman? That abortion is not used as a birth control method.
    I do not consider Obama a liar. He did what was expedient to get the bill passed. I am deeply disappointed that the Christian rigth would deny millions of Americans health care because they don't believe in abortion. And let's face it, all those congressmen and Senators have health care that will pay for an abortion whether they choose to have one or not. Why can't all Americans have the same kind of health care they do.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. O. Lawson

    I am pro-life AND pro-choice. I will fight to the death for the right of every woman to have one choice per conception. If she conceives as the result of willingly having intercourse, she has made her choice and must live with the consequences (carrying the baby to term and placing it in a loving home via adoption is a consequence). If she conceives as the result of intercourse against her will, then I pray abortion is available for the victim of such a horrible crime. But, when abortion is used as birth control – as it is in thousands of cases each month – God forbid our government pays for those murders.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bb

    I'm not too worried - it's not something that's completely iron-clad and irreversible; if legislation amends abortion coverage, we'll have the coverage.

    Also, don't forget that universal health care correlates with lower abortion rates per capita. Just look at France - great health coverage, abortions are fully covered, yet they have 20% fewer abortions per capita than us! That's because they make it easy for women to get birth control and also offer great childcare and pediatric health care support, which makes it much easier for a woman to choose to have her child.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Peter Klein


    It is an Exec Order ONLY... and is NOT BINDING and is rarely ever actually 'used'!
    He did it to buy-off 6 votes for the HC bill today that were holding out because the actual HC Bill (the 'law') includes this. An EXEC ORDER IS NOT LAW... it is NOT BINDING. The 6 votes have their FINGERS CROSSED that Obama (and his successors!) will apply the Exec ORDER with consistency over the next 5-10-20+ years! DO NOT COUNT ON IT! As he will say: "Well, things changed...".

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

    I am a woman, I am pro-life, and NOW does not speak for me or for many of my female friends who are also pro-life. I applaud Obama's decision today. And i applaud the lawmakers who stood their ground for the exclusion of abortion in this bill.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. J

    I believe in a woman's right to choose, it is a fundamental freedom pertaining to their very own bodies. That being said I also fervently believe in the rights of my fellow Americans whom oppose abortion on a moral or religious ground. Those individuals should not be forced to have their tax dollars spent on what they view as murder. This country after all is a democracy and the rights of all its citizens should be accounted for in legislation; even those whom we disagree with on Abortion.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. J

    If NOW cares about women, then I would like to see them acknowledge the life long deep emotional suffering & physical risks that leagues of women face after losing a child to abortion. Being pro choice is not synonymous with being pro women, as so many are hurt by abortions. I am proud of our government for not allowing special interests to dictate this decision, but instead listened to the majority of taxpayers. I am one of the majority who does not want my tax dollars paying to end lives. I want to say a hearty, "Thank you" to our president & to the brave representatives who stood strong in the face of opposition!

    March 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ND

    The process stinks and I would never imagined legislation of this importance not being voted in final form by both parts of the legislature – I am mad and will vote out all who pushed this process and others who just went along with it – personally a woman has the right to decide but not the right to have me pay for it unless I consent – just ridiculous!!

    March 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greg Y

    I have a right to the "freedom of speech" but I don't have a right for the government to buy me a printing press. Women have a right to an abortion, they don't have the right to have the government pay for it.

    March 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
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