President Obama won the vote of anti choice Bart Stupak (and his block of 7) by issuing a deplorable Executive Order on Abortion ("ensuring enforcement and implementation of abortion restrictions in the patient protection and affordable care act"). The Executive Order on Abortion is meant to reassure the anti choice crowd that the Hyde Amendment is still the law of the land. It's meant to further stigmatize abortion and to make it clear that the health deform bill effectively mandates that middle class women must now join desperate poor women in paying for abortions out of pocket, or else.
It will surprise no one to hear that as a candidate Obama opposed the Hyde Amendment:
During the Presidential campaign, the Obama campaign provided the following statement on its position on the Hyde Amendment to RH Reality Check:
Obama does not support the Hyde amendment. He believes that the federal government should not use its dollars to intrude on a poor woman's decision whether to carry to term or to terminate her pregnancy and selectively withhold benefits because she seeks to exercise her right of reproductive choice in a manner the government disfavors (emphasis added).
NARAL is disappointed. NOW is righteously incensed. Here's NOW's statement on Obama's Executive Order on Abortion:
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.
Update: Jane Hamsher: White House Released Executive Order to Media Without Showing to Members of Pro-Choice Caucus
Politics Feminist News Health Care Reform Gender