November 11, 2009
Women’s Rights Group Outraged Over Abortion Amendment
A women's rights advocacy group urged the president earlier this week not to sign an amendment to the health care reform bill that would restrict abortion funding.
"We had the most pro-choice candidate in decades, but we don't have the most pro-choice president," said Terry O'Neill, president of the half-million-strong National Organization of Women (NOW).
O'Neill called the amendment "a giant leap in the direction of making abortion completely inaccessible to all of us."
Sixty-four Democrats and 176 Republicans voted to approve the amendment.
"They said they wouldn't have been able to get health care reform passed without this amendment," said O'Neill.
"And they say, 'What are you worried about? At least we got health care reforms through.'
"We want the Senate to drop the amendment, and if they don't, we are going to pressure the president not to sign it. They should be more concerned that they have passed a bill that gives women only partial health care than about angering the Catholic church," O'Neill said.
"Here come all these men, who have never had to worry about missing a period, and they pass a health care bill for 49 percent of the population."
"Well, as one of the 51 percent who only got a partial health care bill, let me say we are irritated," she said.
The NOW group says that birth control and abortion "are integral aspects of women's health care needs."
"Health care reform should not be a vehicle to obliterate a woman's fundamental right to choose."
The group claims that the amendment goes far beyond the "abusive" Hyde Amendment, which denied federal funding for abortion since 1976.
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