Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups Differ on Obama’s White House Women’s Office

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 13, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups Differ on Obama’s White House Women’s Office

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 13
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama established a new White House Council on Women and Girls earlier this week and pro-life and pro-abortion groups are split on whether that is a good development. And on the pro-abortion side, groups are split on whether it would promote their agenda enough.

Obama signed an executive order establishing a new agency within his administration.

The council will be headed by longtime friend and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Obama’s director of public liaison at the White House, Tina Tchen, will server as the group’s executive director and run the council on a day-to-day basis.

For pro-life advocates, two abortion advocates are heading an office related to women. Tchen is a Chicago lawyer who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Obama presidential campaign. Previously, she served as the vice president of the National Organization for Women, a prominent pro-abortion organization.

Janice Crouse, with Concerned Women for America, understands the office could be used to promote abortion.

The new council has as its mandate the goal to make sure that all federal laws and federal agencies examine how their policies and actions affect women. With a director who thinks abortion is a good thing for women, the Obama administration will press for more federal rules and policies promoting abortions.

"It’s a political payback for feminists,” Crouse told CNS News about Obama’s move. “There is no question what is coming down the pike. Women voted for him, 56 percent to 44 percent.”

“Every single government agency will have to look at every single policy to see if it fits the [pro-abortion] agenda," Crouse added. "They will be working with every minutia.”

“There is no question about it, that that is part of the whole initiative,” she told CNS News of the agency promoting abortion. "Women’s rights – as they interpret it – is contingent on abortion for women to have the careers they want, they have to have so-called control of their bodies.”

However abortion advocates are split on whether they got everything they wanted from their president.

Tchen’s group, the pro-abortion National Organization for Women, told LifeNews.com it "cheered" the formation of the council.

"It was a heartening moment for those of us who have worked so hard for this day," NOW president Kim Gandy said. She added that Jarrett and Tchen are "extraordinary" and that Tchen is a "long-time advocate of" abortion.

"We asked for a Cabinet-level office to work on women’s issues, and we got the entire Cabinet," she gushed.

But Politico indicates that some women are upset that the council wasn’t given more of a mandate, funding and staff.

“It’s definitely not what we were talking about,” Martha Burk, a former chairwoman of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, said about the new board.

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