Clinton supporters push back against NARAL endorsement

After a prominent pro-choice group endorsed Obama on Wednesday, some women -- including congresswomen -- strongly condemned the decision.

By Alex Koppelman
May 15, 2008 2:00PM (UTC)
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John Edwards' wasn't the only prominent endorsement that went against Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. As I mentioned in an earlier post, NARAL Pro-Choice America's political action committee threw its support to Barack Obama earlier in the day.

The group is part of a natural Clinton constituency, and its decision prompted some negative publicity for her. So it wasn't surprising that some of Clinton's female supporters were angry about the announcement, and took their feelings public.


The first to condemn NARAL's action was Ellen Malcolm, the president of EMILY'S List, a pro-choice Democratic group that has been backing Clinton. In a statement, Malcolm said:

I think it is tremendously disrespectful to Sen. Clinton -- who held up the nomination of a FDA commissioner in order to force approval of Plan B and who spoke so eloquently during the Supreme Court nomination about the importance of protecting Roe v. Wade -- to not give her the courtesy to finish the final three weeks of the primary process. It certainly must be disconcerting for elected leaders who stand up for reproductive rights and expect the choice community will stand with them.

Later in the day, more than a dozen congresswomen who support Clinton gathered at the headquarters of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a press conference about the endorsement. According to the Politico, they didn't hold back in criticizing NARAL. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said, "We feel abandoned by this organization today," and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., called the endorsement "a betrayal."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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