Pro-Abortion Group Recycles Attacks on Barack Obama for “Present” Votes

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Group Recycles Attacks on Barack Obama for “Present” Votes Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 5,

Washington, DC ( — A leading pro-abortion group is recycling attacks on Barack Obama that Hillary Clinton brought up during the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary saying he voted “present“ on some key abortion bills in the Illinois legislature. Obama has refuted the attacks in the past by pointing to his cozy relationship with Planned Parenthood.

The attack concerns bills such as a ban on partial-birth abortion and another bill making sure babies who survive botched abortions receive appropriate medical care.

Obama worked with Illinois Planned Parenthood to allow himself and other pro-abortion legislators to vote present on the bills so they would not come under fire from pro-life groups during an upcoming election.

Rosemary Dempsey, the head of the Connecticut National Organization for Women, emailed pro-abortion activists with the claim that Obama is not as pro-abortion as Clinton.

According to the Washington Post, the email included a quote from Bonnie Grabenhofer, the president of Illinois NOW saying the strategy Obama says he concocted with Illinois Planned Parenthood didn’t have the support of all abortion advocates in Illinois.

"We made it clear at the time that we disagreed with the strategy,” Grabenhofer says. “Voting present doesn’t provide a platform from which to show leadership and say with conviction that we support a woman’s right to choose and these bills are unacceptable."

The Post indicates Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut congresswoman and former NARAL leader, replied with a blast email of her own calling the original email an effort to "to falsely attack and artificially divide us."

"The facts are clear — in the Illinois state senate, choice advocates asked strong pro-choice legislators like Senator Obama to vote ‘present’ on Republican-designed bills like a ban on partial birth abortion to protect a woman’s right to choose," she wrote. "Senator Obama has always had a 100 percent pro-choice rating, and he is the only candidate running for President who stood up and spoke out when South Dakota passed an incredibly restrictive ban on abortion."

The emails come after reported on a request from NARAL president for supporters of the two pro-abortion Democratic candidates to stop fighting each other.