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. jim

    Abortion is a LEGAL, CHOICE – it is NOT a required treatment and therefore while available it should not be considered health insurance that is paid by the general public.
    If you want one – pay for it – if you want it available to those who can't afford it – pay for theirs – Now that's choice!!

    March 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KeepItFair

    We should also make sure that tax payers are not paying for Viagra as well. Having fewer may reduce the need for all those abortions.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Juggy

    I am personally against abortion but I am a pro choice advocate and I agree that a woman should have the right to choose with her own body but I believe I am in the majority that thinks that although you should have the right to choose, you should also have the right to pay for it yourself. You can not ask others to support your choice as not everyone agrees with this moral decision. You can not ask those that do not support this position to support it financially, and as there is no way to separate the money, then tax payer money should NOT be used.

    This bill still covers cases of rape, incest, and a threat to the life of a mother. Sorry, but you can not force others to fund your position. If you believe in abortion, find others that support your point of view to fund it for women of lesser wealth.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kelly

    The president has to be committed to more than just NOW. He did the right thing!

    March 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Paul

    These women are ridiculous. Obama prohibited federal funding of VOLUNTARY abortions, which the Fed currently DOESN'T pay for to begin with. So they're screeching because Obama specified that the government isn't going to pay for someone to kill off a child so they can patch up their irresponsibility? The bill still covers rape, incest, and death situations. That is more than enough.

    Obama and the government don't owe it to the selfishly absurd women who think that taxpayer money should pay for their optional procedures.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Geoff May

    Ms. O'Neill can blow all of the smoke she wants; but I am a taxpayer. And I don't want my tax dollars used to fund the killing of unborn children period! There are tons of well worn arguments out there. However her arguments and financial resources should be focued exclusively on preventing pregnancy not taking life because it is the most expedient,efficient, despicable and deplorable option out there.Breaking faith with women pales compared to breaking faith with our Creator(no matter what your religious persuasion is).

    March 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. J.C.

    It's not like Obama outlawed abortions... it's just that women who want them should not charge the taxpayers, who may disagree with the ethics of such a questionable procedure. What Obama did was acceptable and for the greater good.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Marcus Mead

    I can't believe it, but I actually agree with a statement from NOW.

    I am very committed to the sanctity of life; these are children, human beings, we all begin life the same way.

    But her point is that Obama really has no core convictions, which is obviously true. It's pretty obvious that this bill is more about him than the American people (who clearly don't want it), and he's willing to throw his supporters under the bus to go down in history as the President who brought "health care reform". Such much for the principals he campaigned on. Oh wait, wasn't one of them "change?"

    Just for the record- George Bush never backed down on his pro-life stance, even when it was unpopular, such as in the case of embryonic stem cell research. Maybe NOW can learn to have a little respect for a man of principal, even if they disagreed with him,

    March 21, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ssbob

    NOW is mad because the president made clear the wording to the healthcare bill so that our country under no circumstance will finance baby killing. To bad he is not the heartless monster you west coast liberals wanted.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. odanu

    Okay, this is the thing. Availability of health care will help ALL US women, and is inherently feminist. It will allow more women to be entrepreneurs, and it will prevent more women from having to file bankrupcy due to medical issues. The Stupak deal essentially maintained the status quo, and there are reasons to believe that an executive order codifying the Hyde Amendment as permanent will not hold up in court. What Obama did was make it possible for Stupak and his cronies to say yes while not changing much of anything on the abortion front.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MAFMusic

    I don't get it.

    he does NOT oppose the woman's right to decide.

    But public money CANNOT be used.
    This is a GOOD thing.

    Why should we pay for it?

    It is not normal medical care.

    Just like public funds should not pay for plastic surgery just to get rid of wrinkles.

    People need to take control of their lives.
    If they did then we would have less poverty, less crime, fewer obese people, fewer kids, etc.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Peter Ramsey

    I am very pleased that NOW is incensed.
    President Obama is expected to sign an executive order prohibiting federal funding for abortion under the new healthcare legislation.
    However, I am not sure how that applies to private health insurance plans.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Captain Obvious

    It was either get rid of the federal funds for abortion or have no Heath Care Reform. I think, considering the alternative, the President made a good decision.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jptampa

    What's the big surprise. Women get the short end of the deal AGAIN. As we always we always will.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Connie Collins

    Would they be less incensed if the entire bill failed? Look.... this is a huge step in the right direction.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
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