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. Jerry K

    This health care bill will ensure that poor women will have less health care costs, and therefore more money to have an abortion of their choosing anyway. Perhaps the resulting balance means a poor woman will have less money than they did before, though.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. AB

    I think it's entirely possible that the precise wording chosen by Obama for his executive order may satisfy enough of both camps (pro and anti choice) so that the bill can gain support from all but the Rethuglicans, who do not have the best interests of anything but their own wallets in mind.

    This has been long overdue. In the rest of the civilized world, everybody and their dog knows that some form of socialized medicine is as necessary to a country's survival as are other government-controlled basic elements of social infrastructure. The US has been the only holdout among western democracies in that regard. It's frankly amazing how susceptible many Americans have been to the campaigns of dishonesty and misinformation coming from vested interests.

    The next thing for the US to tackle is the comprehension and use of the metric system...

    March 22, 2010 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. Brian C.

    Really??? I can respect a person/entity for being passionate about their cause... However, Universal health care is sooooo much more important that Uncle Sam paying for abortions. The majority of Americans support Obama's decision. The fact that it might have saved this bill is even more of a reason.. For the record I am pro choice. I would personally never agree with a woman aborting my baby, but I would respect her choice.... YAY for Health Care!!

    March 22, 2010 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Doreen

    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 %.

    I'm with Michael.

    I am all for a woman's right to choose, but I would not choose abortion for myself and I certainly don't feel it's a good idea to make tax-payers pay for abortions, if it is an elective procedure. Some of these activist groups are way too aggressive and quick to defend their own agenda instead of acknowledging something that is meant for the greater good.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. johann

    I AM OUTRAGED BY people that continue to think that abortion is a choice and not a right!!!!! What 16 year old girl has rights!!! when you see a women, a girl bleed to death becasue she has had to go to a butcher to end a pregnacy that was a mistake who do you blame her parents!!! Her parent if she has two are not home !!!!!!
    You people who do not understand the difference between failure as a person and success as a person have no Idea what it is like to be alone with no one to help you!!!
    Health care was suppposed to HELP the women that NEED help!!!
    I just want one of you to be in a poosition that ONE of these teenagers are in!!!!!
    You people who think that OBAMA is right have NEVER seen a Teenage girl Bleed to death in an alley!!!!! I am SORRY to say that I have. Just one of you need to have one person in your family have this problem and YOUR position will change!
    I am sorry to be an american today! You jackasses that think that abortion is murder wait unrtil it is your daughter! Your judgement will change!!!

    March 22, 2010 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. CJ

    As a woman, and a conservative one at that, I am pro-choice but still anti having the government pay for an elective abortion. Why should it be the taxpayers' responsibility? There are plenty of ways to get a cheap/free abortion (i.e. Planned Parenthood) without the government having to stick its nose into things. NOW certainly does not represent mainstream women like myself. Did they really think Obama was anything more than a bumper sticker and a catchy campaign slogan? It's laughable!

    March 22, 2010 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Claire M.

    Abortion should be safe and legal - and Pres. Obama convinced pro-choice women to vote for him with this issue as part of his platform. NOW threw their support behind him in the general election. However, just as I think that taxpayer money should not go for faith-based programs, private school vouchers, and other religiously-oriented endeavors, I also think that people shouldn't be forced to pay for abortions. My preference would be to choose where my tax money goes. I should be able to say none of my tax money goes for anything religious, and that some does go for abortion (or whatever else I support). Obama has sided with the religious right in continuing to fund faith-based programs and also to allow them to hire and fire based on religious belief. Now he's made it clear he'll side with the religious right again on abortion. In effect, he's selling out to the religious right - what I predicted before the election. He's a garden-variety politician and a bully.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sally

    "The message we have received today is that it is acceptable to negotiate health care on the backs of women" - Its a sad state of mind when NOW assumes all women should be included in this statement. As a woman who chose abortion, regretted it terribly, and now counsels others left with the realization that they ended an innocent life, I do not agree that any legislation that limits abortion hurts women. On the contrary. I would gladly trade the "freedom" I acted upon back then, even if it had made me angry, or felt limited in my choices, to bring back that unique person whose life I ended that day. I would have been mad, I would have been pregnant, but I wouldn't have been a murderer. I feel sorry for these women, who still live in the dark ages of thinking that all women have the right to kill other women. I once believed that too. Pity them for their lack of knowledge, and wisdom.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mary Evjen

    If one, as an indicidual for pro-choice, makes a personal decision / choice for abortion, it should be financed by the pro-choice decision-maker's personal resources as well, not by those of the US taxpayers!

    Strictly from the biological sense, life begins from the moment of conception. Can any individual with a three-digit IQ possibly argue on that? Abortion, in that sense, is clearly a murderous act against life, human life, to be exact, and murder, regardless of its 'justifiable' causes or circumstances, cannot be decisively endorsed, supported and paid by the federal fund, or any kind of fund, for that matter.

    I personally admire the president's executive order!

    March 22, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Josue

    It is disappointing to see how quick many are to condemn women who want abortions. Yet abortions occur quietly in many families of those who criticise. A woman could have ten or more babies, so there is lots of potential reproduction. Sometimes a woman, exercising the power she rightly has over her own body, choses to abort her pregnancy because it is not the right time, for example if she is too young, or too financially insecure, or was raped, or the relationship she was in has turned violent. She can then bear a baby another time, under better circumstances. Many object to abortions being covered by medical plans because the woman must have behaved "irresponsibly". Would those same people deny coverage to those injured in traffic accidents because they drove drunk? How about denying lung cancer treatments to smokers. Surely they acted irresponsibly. Right, Mr Obama?

    March 22, 2010 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dennis

    NOW may have been "looking forward to working with this president and Congress to bring an end" the Hyde Amendment, but probability of that happening was zero (or less). This was just a face saving measure to get Stupak's vote. Calm down, NOW. Thanks to President Obama for a great job!!

    March 22, 2010 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. TerryCH

    Here is the deal. If a woman wants to get an abortion, she should. I believe in a womans right to chose, but I DON'T want MY TAX DOLLARS paying for her right to choose. It is her choice, she should finance it then and not let others who are agaqinst abortion pay for it.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. redplanet

    I am amazed at the ignorance of those screeching, "keep your legs closed". We have thousands of unintended pregnancies leading to unwanted children who starve and are abused or sold to infertile people with no care about what this does to hijack a child from his identity.

    Not to mention the world doesn't have resources for the people already here. People are starving – or don't you care?

    Of course, birth control is good. But it doesn't always work – and there is no ethical reason to let a clump of cells grow into a fetus into a baby into a child who is damaged from day one, and spends his life screaming and terrified until he ends up in jail.

    I am in awe at how unbelievably cruel people can be. WE NEED ABORTIONS FUNDED.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Melissa

    So let me pose this question to all of you. What if your young daughter is raped and your family can not afford to pay for an abortion. What then? Should your young daughter be condemned to carry a child that she did not want or ask for. This was not her choice but one that was thrust upon her. She did not willing "spread her legs" like so many of you say in your comments or choose to disregard using protection. She was violated and now has to deal with the consequences. Where does your young daughter go and what does she do? Now that her "elective" procedure has been taken away think about the choices she is now faced with. Does she hide the pregnancy like so many other young girls out there? Does she throw herself down a flight of stairs or maybe has someone hit her repeatedly in the stomach in the hope of causing a miscarriage? What happens to your daughter if she does any one of these things? Think about the repercussions that can happen and will happen now. Stop thinking about this as someone else's problem and think about what if it were your daughter. Yes, there are a lot of couples out there who would love the chance to adopt a child but how many of them do? How many children are out there now being raised in foster homes or orphanages that were given up by young mothers who did not want to or could not raise them? Abortion should not be used as a form or birth control I agree, but do not take away the only choice out there for some. If your concerns are about how much this costs the tax payers you are concerned about the wrong issue. How much is it going to cost when your daughter shows up in the emergency room because of complications from a pregnancy she did not want or from some misguided attempt at trying to cause a miscarriage? These are the issues you should be worried cause it happens everyday you just don't see it.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Teresa

    While I would personally never get a abortion, I for one would NEVER tell another woman not to get it. Its her body, I personally know only 2 people who've gotten a abortion. One was a freshman in high school, and another was a girl who had just come off a heroine addiction. Both of the girls were in a bad situation and I never once judged them for it. My opinion is this,,, It is not the government's job to tell us what we can and cannot do with our bodies. I believe that being pro-choice is a personal belief and there are some beliefs that should remain out of politics. I also believe that if you are having sex that you should deal with the consequences yourself or you shouldn't be having sex. I do not believe its right that if a person who is a taxpayer in this country who is pro-life should have to help fund a abortion.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
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