Pro-Choice Progress: A Primer on President Obama’s First 100 Days

Today marks the 100th day of President Barack Obama’s administration.

As the political leader of the pro-choice movement, NARAL Pro-Choice America will mark this milestone as yet another reminder of how electing leaders who support the fundamental American values of freedom and privacy does make a difference in the lives of women and their families.

President Obama is leading our country during an especially challenging time and many of our family and friends will discuss what’s happened during his first 100 days on a number of fronts. When the topic turns to women’s reproductive freedom and choice, we want you to be prepared to share the following signs of change:

  • President Obama rescinded the global gag rule, the Bush administration policy that canceled U.S. family-planning funds to many overseas health centers and denied the world’s poorest women access to birth control. (January 23)



  • President Obama signaled his commitment to medically accurate sex education by including it in his first-ever budget outline. (February 26)


  • President Obama announced his intention to repeal the controversial, last-minute Bush policy known as the Federal Refusal Rule. The regulation could have allowed entire health-care corporations to refuse to provide medical services – including, potentially, birth control. (February 27)


  • President Obama signed legislation into law fixing the birth-control price crisis at college health centers and safety-net provider clinics across the country. (As a senator, Obama authored this legislation.) (March 11)




We have reason to celebrate after reading this list, but let’s not forget that we’re marking the first 100 days of what will be a long and bumpy road to progress. There will be budget debates, a possible vacancy on the Supreme Court, and more.

As Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist Cynthia Tucker said at our annual event marking the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision in Washington, D.C. during the early weeks of this administration: "Obama didn’t say, ‘Yes, I can,’ he said, ‘Yes, we can.’"

How right she was. We must be Partners for Change to build on the success of the first 100 days–especially because our opposition is going to extreme depths to attack President Obama.

Look at the right-wing attacks on three of President Obama’s key nominees: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas for secretary of Health and Human Services; former NARAL Legal Director, Prof. Dawn Johnsen, for assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice; and Judge David Hamilton for a judgeship on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

What do these nominees have in common? In addition to impeccable qualifications for the respective positions for which they’ve been nominated, they also have taken pro-choice positions.

Before you sit down to watch the president’s press conference on Wednesday evening, I ask you to take tangible action to become a Partner for Change and call on the Senate to reject the divisive political attacks from right-wing groups and confirm these qualified nominees.

The actions we take now will determine what additional points we add to this pro-choice primer in the next 100 days.


UPDATE: U.S. Senate confirmed Gov. Sebelius. Take action on Prof. Johnsen and Judge Hamilton here.

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  • invalid-0

    Stupid people…

    So you call yourself a Christian or even a non Christian and believe abortions are a Blessing. Read The Word! Thou Shall Not Kill!

    We all know that an abortion could live given a chance at 9 months old, given UNDER a natural delivery with or without pain killers.

    So keep on thinking that the continued practice of abortion is OK. When the laws are passed for senior euthenasia FOR OLD AGE or at any age, may GOD help you abortion activists and may you be the first ones they choose, whoever they are to select when (The Right To Live Laws) are passed. Maybe if you aren’t smart enough to figure this out, they’ll come to take your life away from you too even if you don’t want to be murdered. Maybe you’ll be a lucky one who gets a fast execution rather than having your brains sucked out or a lethal injection of a saline solution which with burn your body from the inside out rather from the outside in as abortion is practiced.


    • invalid-0

      I appreciate your concern for the bible and belief systems, but the facts still stand that nearly 25% of births in the US are unwanted, and at the current rate of births, there will be no US in 200 years. There will not be enough food unless we work to stop population growth, and that means keeping abortion legal. Im not going to debate when death occurs, that doesnt really matter to me, but we need to fix this problem before we run out of resources.

  • invalid-0

    Sociological interrogation testifies, that following the results of the first 100 days of 69% of Americans approve activity of our president, and 29% consider, that republicans would consult better.

    I consider it as presidential success on the one hand, and the deepest crisis of Republican Party – with another. He has noticed, that republicans for the first roles had today the most conservative politicians that frightens off the moderate voter. At the same time the criticism of the government from republicans sounds “superficially” because they do not offer alternatives. A problem and that republicans while do not have perspective leader who could struggle in four years for a presidential armchair. In the congress there are some young and arrogant party leaders, but their future while is unevident.