March 24, 2010 / Opportunity

Obama’s Executive Order – Women Who Support Him Mean Little Apparently


Well, I’m guessing that Joe Biden wasn’t proclaiming this “a big f-ing deal.” Today, CNN reports that Obama signed an executive order on abortion funding limits:

Unlike the signing of the health care bill Tuesday — which was conducted under the glare of television cameras — Wednesday’s event was closed to the news media.

mscoverOf course it was. Our president should be ashamed. As should the DNC for their tireless use of the issue of abortion to corral women to vote for their candidates. Gig is up ladies – it ain’t working. As one women emailed me today: “It’s official. Both parties are pro-life.

I hate to say “I told you so” but we could have seen this train wreck coming over a year ago. We did. That is why when we founded The New Agenda, we decided to stay neutral on choice. It has nothing to do with our personal beliefs, but everything to do with the fact that this issue has been used to the political advantage of both parties to keep women divided and take away our power.

For those of you planning to attend our evening event on May 6th, titled A New Vision, you will hear a concrete plan to advance women and women’s issues. A new way of doing things. Because clearly the status quo is not working.

Today feels like a replay of 2008. Heads of women’s groups meant to protect choice are busy celebrating the fact that they got to go to the White House on Tuesday. Forget the fact of what happened days before as reported by Jane Hamsher:

The pro-choice Democrats, on the other hand? Well, the White House released the final language of the Executive Order on abortion to the press (before 4pm, per TPM). Shortly after that, they gave the final language to Dianna DeGette of the pro-choice caucus for her approval (at 4pm, DeGette told HuffPo) – just as Bart Stupak was giving his press conference to announce the agreement. DeGette said she read the final language and finally signed off on it as Stupak was gassing on before the cameras. The pro-choice caucus was furious about it.

That is why The New Agenda has and will stay away from the beltway. We will stay true to being a voice for all women.

So today we ask you this – for those of you new to our blog, please be open minded to the notion of unity.  In order to do so, we’ll have to put aside the two most divisive issues for women:  political party and choice; and instead focus on what unites us (the other 85% of issues!).

And we’d ask as well that you all revisit the importance of getting more women into leadership roles.  We’ve been speaking out about President Obama’s poor record on women’s issues from the start – and now it is time for others who were extolling the virtues of policy over representation to take a second look:

Turns out he ain’t Hannukah and Christmas and New Years rolled into one. And in the spirit of the upcoming holiday, I’d like to share a couple of possible titles to this article put forth by the TNA Think Tank – appropriate for the holidays this time of year:

“Just in time for Easter, Obama Tells Women They Put Their Ovaries in the Wrong Basket”

“Obama Will Passover Women”

I only wish this were funny. It isn’t. But fret not – instead join us at The New Agenda. We are committed to fight this fight for all women. We have a strategy and a plan. And, we’re just getting warmed up!

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  • Bes

    I can’t believe that the Dem women of Now or NARAL are just happy to not talk about reproductive rights at this time or the fact that insurance companies are going to charge women more for insurance because this Obama care law says they can. Are there any statistics on how much money is spent on women’s vs men’s health care? And of course you have to be very careful about how those stats are calculated because let’s not forget that there are huge federally run VA hospitals where probably 95% of the patients are men. I do see why The New Agenda is not going to let this topic dominate discussion of women’s issues however and I am glad that choice was made. I am too old for reproductive issues to be my first priority, let the young women fight this battle AGAIN, if they care about it.

  • bruce nahin

    As Governor Palin asks” Hows that Hopey Changey thing working out for you…?”

    Lets get rid of him in 2012 and replace him with a woman. If HRC wont run..Vote Sarah 2012. As I have pointed out before- once women have achieved equality in the congress,governor’s mansions, mayoralty posts,and the presidency,then you can discuss agendas but until you have parity stuff like this will happen, in both parties

  • bruce nahin

    Just read in the paper that the democrats( including all democrat women) have voted against a GOP amendment to the reconcilliation bill which would deny ED pills to sex offenders. This is beginning to seem like Alice in Wonderland, they also opposed an amendment which would make congress, their staff and the president subject to the reform bill not exempt as in the bill just passed. Hope and Change my A—– just more of the same

  • bruce nahin

    After 10 hours, the Senate voted on 28 GOP amendments and rejected each and every one, including a Vitter amendment to spare mobile mammography units from punitive tax treatment, and an amendment to bar sex offenders from receiving Viagra- Pelosi was wrong,It is not just the GOP who considers it true, also the Democrats also seem to wh consider womanhood a pre exisiting condition,

  • Reproductive rights aside, this healthcare sham is an affront to woman overall. Pres. Obama, the House, the Senate make is seem like all is roses because they will be giving over 30 million Americans health-care and giving children healthcare. What they don’t tell you is what that health-care will look like and they don’t tell you that single parent families (where women are the majority of the caregivers)that are living just above the poverty level will have to pay fines to the government if they do not have health insurance. FINES? So if you are a health aide and you make 133% over the poverty level, and you live in a community like California, NJ, D.C., Massachusetts, where the cost of living is astronomical you have to make the decision to pay 3% for healthcare over food for your children; and if you don’t you will go to jail. WTF? This is like a bad movie where all of the supposed “Heroes” gang up on the women and beat them senseless with a 2×4. This is not a benefit to American women, it is a tragedy. Two income families that fall into the income bracket of 250K will be taxed heavily to pay for this and what does that mean? It means that women in the workforce may have to choose between working or not working to keep their family below this financial line. The sacrifices that will have to be made will fall on the backs of women.

    I say replace the entire lot of them in Congress and replace them all with WOMEN (and that includes a certain two men that talk out of both sides of their mouth at the helm. The second in command needs his mouth washed out with soap.)

  • “The second in command needs his mouth washed out with soap.)”

    Thanks for making me laugh at loud optixmom – the rest is this is only tragic and hardly funny!

  • jenniferintexas

    Woman who support Mr. Obama deserve what they are getting plus some. I am NOT concerned about traitors to America or American women even if they are women, but I am concerned about the fact that more Americans are not OUTRAGED with this sham bill, what it contains, how it was ‘passed,’ the continued media lies about everything, and the expected catastrophic effects of the 2700 plus pages of this fiasco.

    Women need to think not only about reproductive and health rights, but human rights, the state of democracy in this country, and whether we will stand or fall as a country. And if you think I am crying wolf perhaps you need to open your eyes and ears because Detroit, a city bloated on welfare, gangs, crime, welfare, govt. programs, and more govt. programs, is DEAD and that plan–of putting more and more people on the public dole and more and more and corruption via government control–is called Obamacare and as of a few days ago it is now the plan for America.

  • marille

    since when is Naomi Wolfe representing NOW? There is a new chair Terry who is certainly not agreeing with that statement above.

  • bruce nahin

    Perhaps Tery should be more vocal, presently we are not hearing from NOW, the only voice is Amy’s

  • jenniferintexas

    And this is for Naomi–someone I know personally: when judgment day occurs all I want is for you to get EXACTLY what you deserve..exactly what you deserve….

  • Patti

    Terry O’Neill, the new President of NOW, has indeed spoken out about this travesty of a health care bill. Here’s the link:

  • You are completely correct Optixmom the supporters of this bill like to say how they are going to raise the federal guidelines for Medicad so that poor people will be covered. This is misleading. The fed guidelines are so low that in order to qualify for Medicade you would have to quit your job and go on welfare. So what happens to a woman who works as a health aid and makes $9.35 an hour in a job that doesn’t offer Health insurrance doesn’t want nor can afford to quit her job and get on welfare then she will be hit with a fine.
    Why are we paying for viagra for sex offenders. Just more proof that neither party gives a damn about women.

  • lisa

    Check this out The New Health Care Reform Legislation: Pros and Cons for Reproductive Health

    Also the Viagra exclusion was one of items contributed by the GOP – as if sex offenders getting their hands on Viagra is a major problem!

  • Lisa,

    It would be worthwhile for you to watch this Bill Moyer show featuring Terry O’Neill from NOW on how HCR HURTS women….then check back…

  • lisa

    I will check it out.

  • lisa

    I checked it out: O’Neal concludes:

    The bottom line is that everyone — citizen and non-citizen, undocumented immigrant and visitor — has a fundamental human right to health care. This right has been denied in the U.S. for far too long, while the rest of the industrialized world moved ahead to assure universal and affordable care for their people.

    We call upon President Obama and elected officials in both houses to commit to a process of steady improvement of our health care system that will result in true reform with universal coverage, realistically affordable rates and no discrimination. We still have a lot of work to do before we can genuinely celebrate.

    NOW then issues another press release:

    NOW Calls for Leadership from President Obama
    on Key Women’s Rights Issues

    March 26, 2010

    After an extended period of debate and focus on the critical issue of health care, the National Organization for Women is eager to see movement on a broad range of women’s rights issues. In light of our mission, we urge President Barack Obama to exercise leadership on behalf of the women of this country, to move forward to achieve real equality for all women. Specifically, we need to see the White House take an active role in the following:

    – NOW asks that President Obama take a leadership role in working with the Senate to move ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the international women’s rights treaty. Towards this end, we are asking the President to speak out on women’s rights as human rights and to help us build better understanding and support for CEDAW.

    – We ask that the Obama administration advance a national dialogue about the need for an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, clarifying why this is the best way to assure equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law. After 87 years, women should not have to wait any longer for constitutional protection.

    – Surveys have shown that local programs to help survivors of domestic violence have to turn away as many as 9,000 women and children every day for lack of resources. While the funding for violence against women programs is increased in the president’s FY 2011 budget — and we are grateful for that — a significantly larger allocation of federal funding is required to provide assistance to the millions who are turned away.

    – We were thrilled that Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. However, a serious gender imbalance persists on the Court, and we urge that the next Supreme Court nominee be a woman.

    – NOW has issued a call for the immediate suspension of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which has been so destructive to our defense capability and to the careers of thousands of lesbians and gay men. In addition, we ask that the Obama administration, with Congress and the Department of Defense, develop a policy that permits lesbians and gay men to re-apply, without penalty, to resume their military service.

    – Women’s rights advocates remain concerned that the president’s commission to address ways to reduce the national debt will recommend cuts in benefits under Social Security and Medicare. We urge President Obama to oppose any such proposed solutions. In addition, we request improvements in Social Security that would fairly compensate the millions of women who are forced to leave the paid workforce to care for children and ill relatives, among other needed adjustments that would better reflect the realities of women’s lives today.

    – President Obama’s leadership is key to attaining passage in the Senate of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has already passed the House. This legislation takes important steps towards equal pay for women. Women of color, especially, would benefit from a strengthening of pay equity law, as the disparity in pay for African American women and Latinas is greater than that for white women. Over their working lives women lose tens of thousands of dollars — and much more — due to sex-based wage discrimination, and it is a major contributor to poverty among older women — particularly for women of color.

    – Finally, because President Obama clearly identified himself as a supporter of women’s reproductive rights during his election campaign, NOW asks for his leadership in repealing the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, which harms low-income women in seeking safe and legal abortion care. At the same time, we would like the Obama administration to help build support in Congress for the Freedom of Choice Act that would codify Roe v. Wade in federal statutes. Adoption of such a law would go a long way toward clearly establishing in law a woman’s right to control her reproductive life and would diminish the political polarization of the issue.

  • lisa

    Amy I reviewed NOW’s initial position.

    A few days later, March 26th, NOW put out this Press Release:

    NOW Calls for Leadership from President Obama
    on Key Women’s Rights Issues

    March 26, 2010

    After an extended period of debate and focus on the critical issue of health care, the National Organization for Women is eager to see movement on a broad range of women’s rights issues. In light of our mission, we urge President Barack Obama to exercise leadership on behalf of the women of this country, to move forward to achieve real equality for all women.

    ****Go to NOW and read complete article.

    No I am not happy about the Executive Order but I am damm glad the bill passed – no question.

    Let’s give credit where credit is due: its a step in the right direction. Doesn’t mean I am going to rest on my laurels and try to eradicate Hyde and its successor. This is just the beginning.

    But, let’s keep this in perspective: This historic legislation BENEFIT WORKING FAMILIES AND SINGLE MOTHERS –

    For another perspective: check out:

    The New Health Care Reform Legislation: Pros and Cons for Reproductive Health
    March 29, 2010

    For the nation’s consumers and providers of reproductive health care, and for advocates of reproductive health and rights, the health care reform legislation just enacted is something of a mixed bag. The bill’s onerous abortion restrictions have been rightly denounced by reproductive rights supporters. New funding for evidence-based sex education was regrettably paired with the retention of a failed and discredited abstinence-only program. But, taken together, a number of other provisions in this sweeping measure constitute a clear and significant step forward for the reproductive health of America’s women and men.

    e moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life – the children; those who are in the twilight of life – the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life – the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.”

    -Hubert H. Humphrey on November 1, 1977