N.O.W.: Obama Gave Poor Women ‘The Axe’

By Teddy Davis

Jan 29, 2009 2:03pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports:

A liberal women’s group is accusing President Barack Obama of giving poor women "the axe."

The National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) sent a mobilization e-mail to its members on Thursday knocking the newly elected president for acquiescing to GOP pressure and urging Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to drop family planning funds for the low-income from an $819 billion economic stimulus bill.

"Tell Congress and President Obama that the Economic Recovery package may be ‘shovel ready,’ but poor women got the axe," reads the e-mail’s first line.

"Never mind that the targeted provision actually saves money — and many other provisions of the plan don’t create jobs either — because job creation isn’t the sole purpose of the recovery bill," NOW’s e-mail continues. "Nevertheless, the Obama administration acquiesced to Republican pressure and asked Congress to remove this simple provision that would allow all states to do what 27 states are already allowed to do — namely use their Medicaid funds to provide family planning services for a greater number of poor women."

N.O.W.’s email calls on its members to urge Congress and the Obama administration to take immediate action to pass the Medicaid Family Planning State Option.

During Tuesday’s briefing with reporters, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that President Barack Obama approves of the contraceptive measure but conveyed to Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., by phone on Monday that the stimulus package was not the right place for it.

"The president called Chairman Waxman yesterday and said that while he believed that the policy of increased funding for family planning was the right one, that he didn’t believe this bill was the vehicle to make that happen," said Gibbs.

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