On the eve of the Super Tuesday primary elections, a women’s rights group that supports Hillary Clinton sent out an e-mail accusing her rival Barack Obama of being soft on abortion rights.
The Monday e-mail from Rosemary Dempsey, president of the Connecticut National Organization for Women, told members that Obama, as an Illinois state senator, several times voted “present” instead of a yes or no on abortion-related legislation.
The e-mail quotes Bonnie Grabenhofer, the president of Illinois NOW, as saying that "voting present on those bills was a strategy that Illinois NOW did not support … We made it clear at the time that we disagreed with the strategy … 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.”
The Clinton campaign has made the same charge repeatedly over the past year, according to the Washington Post.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat and Obama supporter, sent out a reply to the NOW e-mail Monday afternoon, calling the NOW e-mail an attempt "to falsely attack and artificially divide us."
DeLauro wrote: "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.
"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."
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