"Today and every day, my administration continues our efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion," Obama said in the statement. He added, "On this anniversary, we recommit ourselves to supporting women and families in the choices they make and redouble our efforts to promote safe and healthy communities" (Jackson, "The Oval," USA Today, 1/22).
Advocates Weigh In
Abortion-rights supporters and opponents both used the Roe anniversary to reflect on Obama's positions on women's health issues as he began his second term.
Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said, "Obama has done more for women's health than any president in generations."
Women's health advocates have praised Obama's choice of Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both of whom are thought to support abortion rights. However, some of his administration's decisions have upset women's health advocates, including HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' decision not to allow nonprescription sales of emergency contraception to people younger than age 17. Since then, the administration's efforts to implement the federal contraception coverage rules while accommodating religious employers has largely overshadowed the EC debate, according to The Hill.
Judith Waxman, vice president of health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center, said, "We think he's done a great job," adding, "[A] couple disappointments, but overall a great job."
Meanwhile, abortion-rights opponents have called Obama the "abortion president" and the "most pro-abortion president in history."
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said she is concerned because the "safety is off on Obama's agenda" for his second term (Baker, The Hill, 1/22).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership