Family Research Council

Obama Administration Threatens Unborn Life

By Jeanne Monahan


Prior to his election President Obama had established a record that some critics called the "most pro-abortion" of any candidate or President[1]. Since taking office his record has lent support to this distinction. Here are a few examples:

Mexico City Policy: January 23, 2009 - In one of his first executive actions, President Obama lifted the ban on U.S. funding for international health groups that perform abortions, promote legalizing the procedure, or provide counseling about terminating pregnancies.[2]

Embryonic Stem Cell Announcement: March 9, 2009 - President Obama signed an Executive Order to lift restrictions on human embryonic stem cell experimentation.[3]

Conscience Rule: March 10, 2009 - Obama administration published its proposal to rescind and eliminate the conscience-protecting regulations passed by the Bush administration in January 2009.[4]

Plan B access expanded to 17 year-olds: April 22, 2009 - FDA accepted rather than appealed a federal judge's order that lifted Bush administration restrictions limiting over-the-counter sales of "Plan B" to women 18 and older. One of "Plan B's" way of acting is to prevent implantation of a newly conceived embryo, i.e., "Plan B" can kill unborn children.[5]

NIH unveils new human embryonic stem cell experimentation funding guidelines: July 7, 2009 - The new Guidelines provide an incentive for continued destruction of human embryos, to provide new hESC lines for federal taxpayer funding.[6]

Abortion/Reproductive Rights language changes in international meetings: March, 2009 - Overall international organization language changes, in particular on definition of reproductive rights and reproductive health. Began to be evident at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March, 2009 and continued through until present.[7]

President's Budget eliminates abstinence education funding: May, 2009 - President Obama eliminates Community-Based Abstinence Education funding from his budget, replaced by a variety of comprehensive sexuality education programs. At present, he never includes in his annual budget funding for abstinence education, creating a ratio of 24:1 for government funding of comprehensive sex education to abstinence education (a small amount was reinstituted by Congress).[8]

D.C. abortion funding: December 17, 2009 - For the first time in 13 years, funding for abortions is restored in the District of Columbia. President Obama makes this happen by signing Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 into law.[9]

Plan B in Military Hospitals: Feb 8, 2010 - The Obama administration issued a new order for the U.S. military requiring all military hospitals and health centers to stock the morning after pill which can kill unborn children by preventing implantation.[10]

NIH proposes further broadening the definition of "embryonic stem cell": February 19, 2010 - The National Institutes of Health proposed to allow federal taxpayer funding of more human embryonic stem cell lines, providing incentive for further destruction of human embryos.[11]

Healthcare law: March 23, 2010 - President Obama signs "Obamacare" into law.[12] He also signs an Executive Order (EO) said to ban taxpayer funding of abortion.[13] In fact, an Executive Order cannot circumvent the text of legislation; the Obama health care plan allows for taxpayer funding of abortion. Later, in a media interview, Rahm Emmanuel, Mr. Obama's former Chief of Staff, admitted that the EO did nothing to prevent abortion in Obamacare.[14]

FDA panel approval of Ella: June 17, 2010 - FDA panel approves the use of Ella, labeled as an Emergency Contraceptive, but which is identical in chemical and operational modes to the abortion drug, RU-486.[15]

Obama Administration approves Ella: August 13, 2010 - Late on a Friday evening in August, in a move designed to avoid press attention, the Obama administration announces approval of Ella. The drug is labeled as an emergency contraceptive, but it can kill the unborn by preventing implantation as well as destroying a baby post-implantation.[16]

Obama Administration weakens conscience protection: February 18, 2011 - The Obama Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) releases revised conscience protections for healthcare workers which significantly weaken protections of conscience for pro-life workers.[17]

President Obama refuses to cut taxpayer funding to abortion-giant Planned Parenthood: April 11, 2011 - The President is willing to decrease family planning money but he will not budge on Planned Parenthood funding, even if it means he must shut down the government.[18]

Obama Administration issues "Women's Preventive Services" rule (part of Obamacare) which includes abortion drugs: August 1, 2011 - The administration includes ella, Plan B, intra-uterine devices (IUDs), and "the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives" in the list of items that all insurance companies must cover. They issue a very narrowly defined religious exemption, which will essentially only apply for churches.[19]

HHS denies United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) anti-trafficking grant because they will not refer for abortion: Septmeber, 2011 - HHS gives a competitive grant to programs that scored lower than the USCCB because this group would not refer for abortions.[20]

Obama administration bypasses New Hampshire's de-funding of abortion giant Planned Parenthood: June, 2011 - New Hampshire voted to de-fund abortion giant Planned Parenthood. In October the Obama administration bypassed this decision by directly awarding a $1 million grant to Planned Parenthood. The state filed a formal protest with HHS.[21]

Obama administration denies Medicaid funding to Texas because the state defunded abortion giant Planned Parenthood: March, 2012 - HHS announces it would not be re-issuing its family planning extension waiver for the Texas Women's Health Program (part of Medicaid) because the state de-funded Planned Parenthood.[22]

Obamacare forces insurance agencies to include drugs that cause abortion: January 20, 2012 - Obama administration solidifies August 1 ruling. Still included are drugs that can cause abortion. And the ruling still provides only the narrowest of religious exemptions.[23]

Obama "compromise" February 10, 2012 - After a national outcry from protesters across the political spectrum, the president announces his "compromise" on the women's preventive services. In truth, he changes nothing in the actual regulation. In March HHS issues another rule requesting feedback on how to facilitate compromise.[24]

Obamacare regulation issued that forces people to pay for abortion: March 16, 2012 - In its regulation on abortion exchanges, the Obama administration issues a rule where insurance plans that cover abortion will include an abortion surcharge and a secrecy clause. [25]

President Obama appears in Planned Parenthood promotional video from the White House: March 29, 2012. In a video message recorded for Planned Parenthood's Action Fund, the president promotes the organization. Last year, PPFA was responsible for the abortion of 340,000 unborn children. He does this in the White House, in the Red Room.[26]

Personnel is Policy: January 2009-present - The president strategically placed abortion activists throughout his administration. Examples include naming the stridently pro-abortion Kansas Gov.  Kathleen Sebelius as Sec. of Health[27] and Human Services and Senator Hillary Clinton as Sec. of State.[28] Less well-known players include Ellen Moran,[29] former director of Emily's List, as the White House Communications Director, and Tina Tchen, former director for NOW, to lead his Women's Council.[30] Most recently, in April 2012 the Obama Health and Human Services (HHS) hired former Planned Parenthood spokesperson, Tait Sye, as the Asst. Secretary for Public Affairs for HHS. [31]*

Judicial Nominations: January 2009-present- President Obama has nominated many ardent pro-abortion judges to the circuit courts. One of these, Andrew Hurwitz,[32] boasts of having drafted the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling. He named Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. She urged President Clinton to veto the ban on the Partial Birth Abortion. [33]*

*Note: this is not an exhaustive list.

Jeanne Monahan is the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council.

[1] Terry Jeffrey, "Obama is the Most Pro-Abortion Candidate Ever,", January 9, 2008, accessed on July 10, 2012,

[2]Barack Obama, "Memorandum for  Mexico City Policy - Voluntary Population Planning,", January 23, 2009 (

[3] Barack Obama, "Remarks of President Barack Obama - As Prepared for Delivery Signing of Stem Cell Executive Order and Scientific Integrity Presidential Memorandum,", March 9, 2009 (

[4] Federal Register, March 7, 2009, "Rescission of the Regulation Entitled "Ensuring That Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices in Violation of Federal Law"; Proposal,", March 10, 2009 (

[5] FDA Press Release, "Updated FDA Action on Plan B (levonorgestrel) Tablets,", April 22, 2009 (

[6] NIH, "National Institutes of Health Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research,", (July 7, 2009) (

[7] William Saunders and Michael Fragoso, "Obama, the UN, and Women's Rights: The Obama Administration Veers to the Left on Abortion at the United Nations," FRC Issue Brief (

[8] National Abstinence Education Association Press Release, "President's Budget Eliminates Funding for Effective Abstinence Education Programs," May 7, 2009, (

[9], "Bills Signed by the President today, 12/16/09," (

[10] Sarah Netter, ABC News, "Pentagon Allows Morning After Pill on Military Bases," February 5, 2010, (

[11] NIH, "Review Considerations for Applications and Awards under the New NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research," February 19, 2010 (

[12] Bar ack Obama, "Remarks by the President and Vice President at Signing of the Health Insurance Reform Bill," March 23, 2010, (

[13] Barack Obama, "Executive Order 13535-- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Consistency with Longstanding Restrictions on the Use of Federal Funds for Abortion,", March 23, 2010, (

[14] Rahm Emanuel, speaking to the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, "Tribune Editorial Board meeting pt. 10- Women's issues, healthcare, candidates pasts, closing arguments." January 14, 2011. (

[15] Gardiner Harris, "Panel Recommends Approval of After-Sex Pill to Prevent Pregnancy," June 17, 2010, New York Times (

[16] FDA, "FDA approves ella" tablets for prescription emergency contraception,", August 13, 2012, (

[17] HHS, "Statement from the Department of Health and Human Services on the Regulation for the Enforcement of Federal Health Care Conscience Protections,", February 18, 2011, (

[18] Steven Ertelt, "Obama Refused Boehner Demand to Cut Planned Parenthood Funding," April 14, 2011,, (

[19] HHS Press Release "Affordable Care Act Ensures Women Receive Preventive Services at No Additional Cost", (

[20] Jerry Markon, "Health, abortion issues split Obama administration and Catholic groups," Washington Post, October 31, 2012 (

[21] John Hayward, "You Will Fund Planned Parenthood, America, Whether You Like it or Not," Human Events, September 14, 2011 (

[22] Angela Brown, "Health program losing federal funds, clinics" Associated Press March 12, 2012 (

[23] Kathleen Sebelius, "A statement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius,", January 20, 2012,

[25] HHS, "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans; Exchange Standards for Employers," March 27, 2012, (!documentDetail;D=HHS-OS-2011-0020-2420).

[26]Thomas Cloud, "President Obama Pledges to Never Stop Fighting for Planned Parenthood, Which Did 329,445 Abortions in 2010," CNSNews, March 30, 2012 (

[27] White House Press Release, "President Obama Will Nominate Governor Kathleen Sebelius Secretary of HHS, Announces Release of $155 Million of ARRA Funds for Health Clinics Across America," March 2, 1009, (

[28] Linton Weeks, "Obama Names Hillary Clinton, Gates To Cabinet," NPR, Dec 1, 2008, (

[29], "White House Communications and Press Secretary positions announced," (

[30], "Council on Women and Girls Leadership," (

[31] Lester Feder, "HHS hires former Planned Parenthood spokesman," Politico, April 20, 2012 (

[32], "President Obama Nominates Justice Andrew David Hurwitz to Serve on the United States Court of Appeals," November 2, 2011, (

[33] Ariane de Vogue, "Elena Kagan Abortion Memo Offers New Look at Nominee," ABC News, May 11, 2010, (