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)

    I wish to point out that SPERM IS THE PROBLEM, NOT EGGS.

    What we have is a society where the complete burden of sex and its resultant pregnancy is placed only on one person: the woman. Let us make impregnating a female or irresponsible sex a crime. Put the scarlet letter on the men's foreheads.

    To illustrate my point, notice how none of the posts address the male.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tim

    a mother in the U.S. has a ten times greater chance of dying in childbirth than a mother does in Ireland. If you really wanted to reduce abortions, you'd have to ask yourself this question: Why does godless France, where abortion is nearly free (it's covered by their universal health insurance), have 20% fewer abortions per capita than we do? What's even more amazing about that statistic is that you can't even get an abortion in America in 87% of our counties because there isn't one single doctor in those counties who will perform one! 87%!! The Right has scared them to death - sometimes literally

    March 22, 2010 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. r

    Many women talk about abortion like it is their right to pop a pimple or shave an eyebrow. The "thing" they are aborting is not part of their body. It has a separate blood system. It is a human life.
    I'm not a christian, nor a crazy anti-abortion fanatic. It is time for many women to face the truth. Abortion is the taking of a human life. For a women to talk about abortion like it is a cosmetic right, is to talk about having a right to take another life simply for the sake of their own convenience and vanity. It's cruel and inhuman to have that sort of mentality. It shows the level of cruelty some women can manifest when their vanity is at stake. Sex comes with responsibilities. The man and woman who created the baby, must take responsibility.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pete Bennett

    I have one simple challenge, you can abortion any day you want as long as the next woman in line assists with the front of her, if she can make it through, then great but I know that I'd have a hard time performing the procedure.

    Find a better alternative to abortion by coming up with a better way to prevent it in the first place.

    You will never stop nor can you truly make it illegal but through better chemistry or better than condom solution keep the messy subject from occuring the first place.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. MPK

    How can you blame President Obama for not being able to get federal funding for abortion? Spend your time and money on educating and helping young women and men and allow yourselves to be happy with this HUGE win: healthcare for everyone. Young children and babies delivered to very poor families that couldn't afford to have the children in the first place and who couldn't afford proper healthcare, will now find their way to a doctor in this new healthcare system. They will be able to make healthier choices so there will be less need for abortion in the first place.
    He has been of great help to everyone in the US. Not everyone sees the benefits yet, but everyone profits from the population being healthier as a whole. Yes, it costs money, but all the health hazards that are out there because others than you and your family don't have healthcare are numerous and expensive to try and avoid.

    Next step: Education. Stop the Texas Textbook Massacre! Try and do something for the babies that are already out there and educate them properly about sex and about their history and evolution. Once people better understand where they come from, they will respect life a lot more than when they are forced by rules from a book written ages ago and mainly interpreted by people (mostly men) who fear that others may turn out to be smarter than them.

    Healthcare comparison US/EU:
    An IUD including placing it and getting proper testing and care from an gynecologist costs $1.000 in NYC. (Considering it lasts 5 years it is still worth your while).
    Same thing in the EU at the:
    Gynecologist: €169,-
    At the GP's practice: €23,-
    And GPs have experience doing it, it's not just a hobby. Midwives can also do the same trick.

    Now THERE is something the US should look at. PROFITS the healthcare industry makes with your expensive insurances! Educate your doctors and nurses.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Steve

    I guess the anti abortion abortion people would rather pay for another crack baby on Medicaid

    March 22, 2010 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ms Bernardi

    This is a typical means and ends debate. In order to arrive at some form of national health care, a political compromise with the anti-abortion Dems was needed. If the President refused to issue the order then the "means" to the end or the process itself becomes the focus and NOTHING is accomplished. I am pro-choice BUT abortion should never be used lightly or as a form of contraception which unfortunately it is all too often the case. I am concerned, however, about low-income families (an/or young people) who become pregnant and need our help as a community. Don't say "adoption"!. I am tired of people who do not understand a married woman with six children and an abusive husband who cannot affor another child, or an unwed teen from a poor family who desperately need another solution. As fellow human beings, we have to: 1) stop judging others whose situation we cannot understand, 2) support our neighbors and friends with kindness, friendship and understanding whne they are in need (like an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy) in need, 3) commit ourselves to community service and education to help avoid abortion, and 4) keep our personal and religious beliefs to ourselves and our families and stop making those things political. If the men and women who forced our Presiden to issue this order did all of these things, we would be a better country for it. Remember, we are the ONLY western democratic country without universal health care....we should be ashamed that we have let "abortion" block the realo issue here.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. cookhuffman

    If we won't force abortion opponents to pay for the, then I want to withhold that portion of my taxes that pays for war – which I also find repugnant. Why don't the conservatives argue for that? Because they are typically pro-war. Ridiculous hypocrisy. If we start allowing everyone to only pay for what they find 'morally ok' there won't be much tax base left.
    Come on folks...let's use some basic logic and common sense.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pro-Choice Guest

    As someone who is strongly pro-choice, I agree with many of the comments here that support the President's order. This only prohibts federal money from paying for abortion, and I don't find this that offensive. I think we need to put money into birth control to keep women from finding themselves with unwanted pregnancies. I think NOW is reacting too strongly, and I will no longer support them as a result. I think it's absurd to say that it would have been better to not have passed this historic universal health care legislation than have passed it with the order. No one is banning abortion, we're just saying tax payers should not have to pay for them – and I can live with that.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pro-Choice Guest

    I also agree with the comment that points out abortion is an entirely elective procedure. We should no more pay for abortions with federal money than we should for elective plastic surgery. NOW really missed the mark on this one.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Matt

    NOW has no reason to be angry. All Obama did was to reassert to a pledge that was made in 1976. Nothing at all has changed, Abortion is still legal. It was a tiny sacrifice (which was meaningless for the greater good. This bill is only the first step, language to allow federal funding could always be added at a later date.

    And the pro-lifers here really make me laugh with your hypocracy. How many of you supported the Iraq War (answer: most of you) how many babies do you think got murdered in that, or does brown skin matter less?

    March 22, 2010 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Raeta

    If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one. Otherwise, mind your own business. As for abortions being elective, tell that to the 15 year old, the rape victim, the woman who knows her child would live in desperate poverty or violence. There are always many aspects to this decision and women should be entitled to the same consideration as anyone else who goes to the doctor for treatment for things that are brought on by choices we make. It's not up to the medical community or the government to discriminate based on choices....if it was, no smoker, drinker, person with obesity, or person with an STD would be entitled to medical care.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. patricia wilson

    i am proud of the decision that there should not be a national policy concerning abortion. we as taxpayers should not be made to fund an abortion for a woman who went out and had a good time and now she is pregnant. she and the man should pay for an abortion so that on the day of judgement she and he will answer to God and not us taxpayers.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. Atit

    Why can people not see the bigger picture? Historic landmark healthcare legislation was passed for the first time in our history. I am staunchly pro-choice but if men and women are irresponsible enough to have sex and get pregnant, they should be forced to pay for their own mistakes and not have the taxpayers pay for it.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ron

    So sad how some can think KILLING a baby should be part of a "Health care" reform bill.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
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