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The Clinton campaign has raised doubts about Sen. Barack Obama's record on abortion rights because he voted "present" rather than "no" on seven antiabortion bills when he was in the Illinois state Senate.
The day before the Super Tuesday primaries, an e-mail from the head of the Connecticut National Organization for Women took issue with those votes, prompting a response from U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, an Obama supporter, who said the effort by NOW was divisive.
"The facts are clear – in the Illinois state Senate, choice advocates asked strong prochoice 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 chose," DeLauro wrote. "Senator Obama has always had a 100 percent prochoice rating."
Indeed, DeLauro is correct. Obama has 100 percent congressional voting ratings from NARAL Prochoice America for his three years in the U.S. Senate. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund similarly gave Obama a perfect score on its 2006 congressional scorecard.
He also earned 100 percent records for his votes in eight years as a state senator, according to Pam Sutherland, president and CEO of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council. (She is neutral in the presidential race and her group has not endorsed a candidate.)
"He has always voted in favor of abortion rights," she said.
So we find DeLauro's statement to be True.
Planned Parenthood, 2006 Congressional Scorecard
Washington Post, NOW Again Attacks Obama's Illinois Voting Record on Abortion Bills, Feb. 5, 2008
Obama campaign, Obama's Strong Prochoice Record
Interview: Pam Sutherland, Illinois Planned Parenthood Council
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