Reproductive Freedom 100 Days into the Obama Administration

(Originally posted on Feministing.)

It's only been 100 days, but already reproductive freedom has come a long way. The first 100 days of the Obama administration have brought us more victories than we had in the eight years of the previous administration, and now seems like a good time to recognize and celebrate our success.

On his first Friday in office, President Obama rescinded the Global Gag Rule, restoring U.S. funding to international organizations that use their own, non-U.S. dollars to provide, refer for, and/or advocate for safe and legal abortion in their countries. This decision will both increase women's access to desperately needed family planning services, such as contraceptives, HIV-AIDS prevention, and maternal care; and reaffirm the United States' commitment to free speech and democratic participation.

At the same time, President Obama committed to reinvesting in the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, which is widely considered the best delivery system for international family planning funds worldwide. Also in the international realm, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been vocal in her support for reproductive health care and family planning services abroad and at home and has made it clear that reproductive freedom will be an important tenet of U.S. foreign policy.

Fortunately, the good news hasn't been confined to our foreign policy. On March 11, President Obama signed the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which, among its myriad provisions, restored access to affordable birth control for all health care providers that serve low-income women and men and all college and university health clinics. The Act also provided the first-ever (!) cut to the Community-Based Abstinence Education Program and increased funding for the Title X Family Planning Program by $7.5 million. These additional funds will help clinics meet the needs of low-income women and men who require comprehensive family planning services, such as counseling, contraceptives, education, and preventive health screenings, and who would otherwise be unable to afford these basic health care services.

Meanwhile, on March 10, the Department of Health and Human Services announced its proposal to rescind the Health Care Denial Regulation. As it exists now, the rule appears to permit institutions and individuals to deny women access to birth control and, moreover, to refuse to provide information and counseling about basic health care services, including information about abortion. The Bush administration pushed the regulation through in the name of religious freedom, but for years, federal law has carefully balanced protections for individual religious liberty and patients' access to reproductive health care (PDF). The regulation takes patients' health needs out of the equation. We hope that the Obama administration will soon follow through and rescind this dangerous and unnecessary regulation.

After all that, the Obama administration did not rest on its laurels. Following a March 24 federal court decision, last week the FDA announced that it will soon make emergency contraception available without a prescription to 17-year-olds. The agency also will evaluate lifting all age restrictions on the drug.

And, finally, just this week, the Senate confirmed a pro-choice Secretary of Health and Human Services.

It's been a whirlwind, but rewarding, three months. We finally have a White House that cares about women's reproductive health care needs. No doubt, there is more work to be done and many challenges in our future. But, today we can sit back for just a moment and revel in what it means to have a pro-choice president. All in all, it's been a good hundred days for reproductive freedom.

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Not a good 100 days for the unborn! The pro-abortion forces in the ACLU support unfettered abortion right up to the time of birth-and even beyond-while making it almost impossible to adopt a child. The woman has every right to do with her body whatever she wishes, but the body of that child is to be left alone. You people get me sick!


What makes me sick is Nazis who want to bring back coat hanger and back alley abortions.


Paen, there's an easy solution to avoid "coat hanger abortions" DON'T GET PREGNANT!! The far-left ACLU wants it both ways; they (and you) are opposed to all abstinence education, saying it is a"right" to have sex with anything that moves, therfore the chances of a girl getting pregnant are far greater, and you in the pro-abortion movement take the person by the hand to the nearest abortion mill to take care of the problem, and making $5000.00 in the process. The child-killing business is big money for the left, while adoption doesn't put a dime in your pockets. Now that's what's sick!!


Steve - I can appreciate someone with opposing views until I detect a clean break from reality. At that time I stop listening. You reached that point in your second sentence.

The number of pro-abortion people in this country could probably be counted on the fingers of your hands. Abortion is a tragedy, the route of last resort. The people to whom you are referring are pro-choice.

I have never heard of a group that is opposed to abstinence education, only to abstinence-only education. For what it's worth, there is a whole lot more money to be made in adoptions.

I would like to hear your views on bringing a child into this world who will live a short, miserable, painful life or whose birth puts the mother at significant risk. I will not try to convince you that my view, an embryo that has no chance of surviving outside of the mother is not a person, is right and yours is wrong.


Since when wasn't it a right to have sex?
I thought that was pretty obvious.


Sorry Roald, but I stick to my guns. If you on the left really saw abortion as a "tragedy", there wouldn't be 1.5 million babies sucked into a sink every year. There is just too much money to be had in the abortion business. Ask George Tiller the baby-killer how much he rakes in. If you were "pro-choice", myself and about a thousand other pro-life demonstrators would be able to protest in toilets like San Fransisco standing on the sidewalks with "abortion kills children" and not be spit on, whistles blown in our ears, physical threats made on both adults and children, ect. The far-left ACLU despises conservative christians because we oppose abortion in most cases, while you on the far-left want unfettered abortion right up until birth. Oh, and if the child survives the abortion, the majority still believe he/she should still be killed. BTW, I am pro-choice, but I believe the choice should be made for life.


Well, I feel that Obama is a baby-killer based on his abortion and stem cell stances. What appalls me the most, is tax dollars being used for abortion. This is an abomination to all decent people in this country. Hasnt any of these careless people ever heard of adption? How about Sex Education? How about Contraception Education.
I guess it is just easier to kill babies though.

Lee Thompson

In the wake of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, this article is a must read.

The Deadly Illusion of "Common Ground" on Abortion
Response to Obama"s speech at Notre Dame on common ground and abortion

By Sunsara Taylor

"When it comes to abortion, there really is only one moral question: Will women be free to determine their own lives, including whether and when they will bear children, or will women be subjugated to patriarchal male authority and forced to breed against their will?"

Read the whole article at

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