Massachusetts’ Coakley Wins Pro-Abortion Backing to Replace Ted Kennedy

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 9, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts’ Coakley Wins Pro-Abortion Backing to Replace Ted Kennedy

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 9
, 2009

Boston, MA ( — Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has won the support of the most well-funded pro-abortion political group in the country to replace the late pro-abortion Sen. Ted Kennedy. Emily’s List , which only backs candidates who support taxpayer-funded abortions and partial-birth abortion, is in her camp.

The endorsement is important because several candidate will likely throw their names in the hat for Kennedy’s seat by the time the field is locked for the special election later this year.

The endorsement from the pro-abortion group will give Coakley the financing and ground support she needs to break away from the pack.

And it could ensure that the seat held by Kennedy, who was an abortion champion after flip-flopping from a pro-life position he held in the 1970s, will stay in pro-abortion hands.

“EMILY’s List is proud to endorse Martha Coakley in the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat,” Ellen R. Malcolm, president of the pro-abortion group, said in a statement.

“We met with Martha today to tell her that EMILY’s List and our 100,000 members in Massachusetts and across the country will be standing with her as she campaigns over the coming months," she said.

“I am honored to have earned the EMILY’s List endorsement,” Coakley said in her own statement in response. "“EMILY’s List members’ support will be crucial to help me level the financial playing field, communicate our message and get out the vote on Election Day on Tuesday, December 8th."

Kennedy, the iconic Massachusetts senator, died last month at home in Hyannis Port after a long battle with cancer. Elected first in 1962, the 77-year-old liberal lion reminds many political observers of the changes on abortion among many members of the Democratic Party.

He repeatedly has voted against all attempts to stop taxpayer financing of abortions and opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions. Kennedy regularly receives 0 percent records from the National Right to Life Committee.

Although his health prevented him from casting any votes on pro-life issues this session of Congress, Kennedy received a 14 percent rating from 2007-2008 from NRLC.

But Kennedy’s position wasn’t always in line with abortion advocacy groups.

He was one of many formerly pro-life Democrats who changed with the political winds as the party moved from one influenced by pro-life southern Democrats and pro-life Catholics to one dominated by the pro-abortion feminist groups like NARAL and Emily’s List.

Kennedy displayed an eloquent pro-life position in 1971, prior to Roe v. Wade, when he wrote a letter to Catholic League member Tom Dennelly.

“While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized—the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old," he wrote.

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