Sunday, March 21, 2010

NOW incensed with Obama; pro-choice caucus leader unfazed

President Obama Breaks Faith with Women

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

"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."

NARAL HAS STILL NOT POSTED ON THIS. NOR HAS PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Is that because they haven't gotten around to it yet or because they know it is no serious threat or because the Obama administration hasn't sent them the language?

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette agreed to support the executive order on behalf of the pro-choice caucus because it is simply a ratification of what they already agreed to last July. She doesn't like it then and doesn't like it now but thinks it isn't especially burdensome given the importance of health care reform. Speaker Pelosi has said she's open to an executive order.

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