Pro-Abortion Group’s Leader Rattled in Press Mtg Defending Hillary Clinton

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Group’s Leader Rattled in Press Mtg Defending Hillary Clinton Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 5,

Des Moines, IA ( — The leader of one of the biggest pro-abortion groups in the nation was rattled during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon as she attempted to defend Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Reporters challenged Emily’s List president Ellen Malcolm on several topics.

Emily’s List has endorsed Clinton, but, as has reported, the group’s efforts in Iowa to garner support from women appear to have backfired as pro-abortion candidate Barack Obama has moved up in the polls.

To try to regain her footing, Clinton has gone after Obama and criticized him for voting "present" on key abortion votes when he was a member of the Illinois state legislature.

Before the start of the NPR debate, the Clinton campaign arranged for Malcolm to defend her pro-abortion record in a press conference. The event didn’t run as smoothly as Clinton officials expected.

Malcolm argued that Clinton is the only Democrat in the presidential race to stand up to President Bush on a number of pro-life issues ranging from the morning after pill to Supreme Court nominees.

However, reporters went after Malcom quickly after her comments, according to an MSNBC update.

They criticized Clinton for attacking Obama on his state legislative votes and noted that the head of Illinois Planned Parenthood told the Los Angeles Times that the pro-abortion group had devised the "present" vote strategy for Obama and other lawmakers.

Malcolm claimed the strategy was more for other legislators facing tough re-election challenges to tone down their pro-abortion records.

Then, reporters challenged Malcolm on an abortion ban South Dakota lawmakers approved and saying that Obama had written a letter opposing it and donating to the group working to defeat the ban at the polls. Clinton did nothing to support the pro-abortion effort against the ban.

Malcom sidestepped the question, MSNBC reported, and tried to defend Clinton’s record on promoting Roe v. Wade during a Senate speech and said Obama didn’t defend abortion much when he spoke about the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

But Obama’s campaign followed up on the press conference with a copy of a letter Malcolm sent to him after he made a pro-abortion presentation at a national Emily’s List event. The letter has Malcolm praising Obama for his views backing abortion.

As each senator tries to appear as the most pro-abortion candidate, both campaigns continue to press their case in the media.