WASHINGTON (BP)–NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the nation’s leading abortion rights groups, endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president May 14 and pledged to work to defeat Republican John McCain, who the organization said is anything but moderate on the issue of abortion.
NARAL’s endorsement of Obama came just over a month after National Right to Life endorsed McCain.
NARAL –- formerly known as the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League –- said McCain scored a “0” on its abortion rights voting scorecard from 2002 through 2007 and, going back to his days in the House, has voted for the pro-life side in 125 out of 130 votes.
“It’s time to put the myth that Sen. McCain is a moderate to rest,” NARAL said in a statement. “We need your help to educate voters about McCain’s extreme anti-choice record.”
NARAL endorsed Obama despite the fact that the senator from Illinois has yet to win enough delegates for the nomination, and despite the fact that Democrat Hillary Clinton has been a friend of the pro-choice movement.
NARAL President Nancy Keenan said “Americans have been fortunate to have two fully pro-choice candidates” in the race for the Democratic nomination but that “only one can go forward to the general election.”
“Sen. Obama has been a strong advocate for a woman’s right to choose throughout his career in public office,” Keenan said in a statement. “He steadfastly supports and defends a woman’s right to make the most personal, private decisions regarding her reproductive health without interference from government or politicians. Sen. Obama has been a leader on this issue in the United States Senate.”
On some issues, pro-lifers say, Obama has been even more extreme on abortion rights than Clinton. For instance, as an Illinois legislator, he opposed a bill that would have required medical treatment be given a newborn baby that survived an abortion attempt. In 1997, Obama failed to support an Illinois bill banning partial-birth abortion even though it included an exception to save the life of the mother. Although Clinton also opposed a ban on partial-birth abortion, in the Senate she voted for a bill that would require treatment be given newborns who survive abortions.
National Right to Life’s board of directors in April passed a resolution endorsing McCain, saying the Arizona senator “has consistently taken a strong pro-life position against abortion, has a strong pro-life voting record against abortion and opposes Roe v. Wade.” By contrast, the resolution said, Obama and Clinton “have strong positions and voting records in favor of abortion on demand and strongly support the appointment of only U.S. Supreme Court Justices who favor Roe v. Wade.”
“National Right to Life supports Senator John McCain for election as President of the United States and strongly opposes both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and urges all pro-life citizens to do likewise,” the resolution concluded.
Compiled by Michael Foust, assistant editor of Baptist Press.