Barack Obama Holds Media Conference Call to Defend Pro-Abortion Views

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 14, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Barack Obama Holds Media Conference Call to Defend Pro-Abortion Views Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 14,

Washington, DC ( — Barack Obama’s campaign took the unusual step of holding a conference call with reporters in upcoming primary battleground states to defend his pro-abortion views. The Democratic presidential candidate doesn’t want Hillary Clinton’s campaign to attack him on the issue as it did in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Previously, the Clinton camp went after Obama for voting present on a handful of abortion bills when he was a member of the Illinois state legislature.

However, as has reported, he did so after coordinating a strategy with the Planned Parenthood there to help him and other Democrats avoid criticism during an upcoming election for votes on common sense pro-life bills such as a ban on partial-birth abortions.

Pam Sutherland, president and CEO of Illinois Planned Parenthood, defended Obama as she has several times before during the presidential election.

“We had a very astute and devious Republican leader that we knew was using abortion votes as wedge issues, putting those votes into mailers to help defeat pro-choice Democrats," she said, according to a CNN report. “It was our strategy, Planned Parenthood’s, to decide that a ‘present’ vote was the same thing as a ‘no’ vote.”

She indicated Obama “was always ready to vote ‘no’ on these bills but he understood how it important it was to help his fellow colleagues."

Sutherland said Obama “was key to the strategy… not only did Democrats follow suit, so did many Republicans. The strategy actually worked… very few of those bills actually made it into law.”

The Clinton campaign featured a press conference in Iowa with the head of a leading pro-abortion group, Emily’s List, attacking Obama. It also sent out mailers in New Hampshire questioning Obama’s pro-abortion record.

CNN reported that spokesman Tommy Vietor said the conference call was a preventative tactic and that no new mailings or calls from the Clinton campaign prompted it.

“We saw misinformation being spread to people in New Hampshire and Senator Obama feels that when we see misinformation being spread we should respond forcefully with the truth and that’s what we’re doing today," Vietor said.