Behind Closed Doors, President Signs Anti-Abortion Executive Order
March 25, 2010
After signing health care reform into law Tuesday, President Obama signed the executive order reaffirming limits on federal funding for abortions yesterday. CNN reports that Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan and 12 of his fellow anti-abortion House Democrat allies attended the event. As far as anyone can tell, however, no pro-choice supporters were invited to the event, which was closed to news media.
Though it’s not uncommon for policy supporters to be the main invitees at a Presidential signing, yesterday’s event merits the attention of pro-choice citizens. Behind closed doors, President Obama allied himself with anti-abortion representatives to reinforce the Hyde Amendment, legislation restricting universal reproductive rights. In reflecting upon this event, we must wonder – what happened to our pro-choice president? An anti-choice executive order is not what we had in mind when President Obama spoke of “change” for America. We had hoped for an expansion of women’s reproductive health rights, not an affirmation of the current infringement upon those rights.
Health care reform has made commendable strides towards improving our nation’s health. But as reproductive health advocate Jen Nedeau points out, we cannot help but feel shortchanged by our president’s compromise of women’s reproductive rights. And as WMC founder Gloria Steinem explains, there are numerous ways we can channel our outrage over this issue into action, like supporting pro-choice political leaders. Most notably, we must work to repeal the Hyde Amendment – a longstanding and shameful provision which bars low-income women from accessing reproductive health care.