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. John

    Someday the special interests like NOW will realize that Presidents will say what they extremes of the party want to hear during a campaign and then play to the middle after they are elected. Everyone on the left was so scared that George Bush was going to outlaw abortion, did he even try? No.

    Once the election is over the President no longer needs to placate all the special interest. Besides, what is NOW going to do to "punish" Obama? Do you think their members will vote Republican next time? Hardly. Just like Bush knew that the anti-abortion crowd isn't going to rush out and vote for a democrat to punish the republicans.

    Election after election the special interests seem to think things will change. The only thing that might actually make a change is if one of these special interest groups that has always voted for one party were to endorse the oppostion just once and then, if they really go through with it, and the cadidate loses they'll have some leerage. When you announce that you endorse Obama 100% and your group has always voted democratic then you really have no leverage at all, just like the religious right found out when Bush went to DC and did little if any of the things they wanted.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Janet

    Gee, it's too bad NOW isn't happy. They've forced their immoral ideals on
    us for a long time. It's their turn to be in mourning. If someone is stupid enough to get pregnant these days, they need to pay for their own minute of pleasure.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Linda Kleinschmidt

    What else should NOW have expected? This President's word is not worth the breath he uses to speak it or the ink he expends to put it on paper. Beware. He will do and say ANYTHING and make any deals with anyone to achieve his own personal political agenda

    March 21, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Eric

    Typical, can't do anything right can they? "We see now that we have our work cut out for us far beyond what we ever anticipated." Maybe you should have planned for a little bit of a challenge seeing as abortion is such a testy issue for so many, did you just think because you have a liberal president and congress the practice was just going to disappear?

    March 21, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    Not sure when anything involving "health care" wound up with "death", but go get 'em. The more I see rants like this, the more I'm not surprised that more and more women distance themselves from "feminism" and equate the term with "female chauvinism".

    Abortions that aren't critical to health care needs should at the least be classified with everything else – elective surgery. Thus, not covered by American taxpayer dollars.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Inthemiddle

    Maybe NOW should analyze the words "Pro-Choice". I am for pro-choice, but it is a choice. What the message here is that health care legislation should be about health care. If the medical procedure is not for life threatening issues, rape, or incest it should be paid for by the individual. There are many sad stories out there for people who have had to make this choice, but this is as elective as plastic surgery is. There are already many groups that help fund the cost and keep it at a minimum and peoples tax dollars should not go for non-necessary medical procedures.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    Tough. I'm not paying for abortions. I don't care if women get them, that's their choice/problem, but I'm not paying for it. If they were raped, then the rapist or abuser pays for it...NOT ME! If it's a medical issue, then insurance pays for it, the parents pay for it, but..NOT ME! If it was just carelessness, then again, she pays for it, the parents pay for it, the boyfirend pays for it, they all chip in an pay for it....but NOT ME!!!!!!

    March 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Abortion and Health Reform Advocate

    The abortion fight is important, but healthcare reform is more important because it affects many more Americans. I believe President Obama was right to compromise in order to move toward quality healthcare for millions of Americans. We will fight abortion restrictions on another battleground on another day. That fight is far from over and I believe our President will support us in that fight in a different arena.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Don Roach

    I'm incensed that pro-life congressman are hanging their hats on an executive order.

    The message we have received today's is that both people on the left and the right are willing to compromise principles in order to pass legislation.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Richard

    So, NOW is upset that elected leaders are against the wholesale killing of babies? It is so sad that some of these NOW people are for killing the unborn, but against the death penalty.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Honest

    While I understand the apprehension of NOW to this executive order, this bill will hopefully help millions of women in meaningful ways. To refuse to pass the bill because of those representatives who are pro-life would hijack the future of healthcare in America. No one would benefit. The women who choose to abort a pregnancy are no worse off than before, but those women in poverty who often need abortions are significantly better off with new coverage.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jjj

    im pro-choice and i agree w/ obama. there is no reason ,ethical or otherwise, that my money should indirectly fund someone else's abortion!

    March 21, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pkb

    President Obama has reneged on his campaign promises to women. He has used women as a pawn for a health care bill that offers nothing for Americans for years to come in which time he will not even be in office. I worked and voted for this President and I am disappointed to the depths of my soul that he would betray us. It is now up to American women to vote these flimsy so-called "Democrats" out of office. They are Democrats in name only and ran on Obama's coattails.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. eric

    Hey NOW, are you really surprised that this President lied to you. Hell, you're about the only ones he hadn't lied to as of this morning.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lwhite

    NOW has done nothing for many women, except middle class women and much less than they could. They never lobbied really for health care, day care. They should look at their own gaping failure. Obama would have wanted abortion perhaps, but there was not the vote for it and not compromising health care would have killed the health care biil. Get real!

    March 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
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