- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama’s supporters are pushing back against an e-mail blast coming from the National Organization for Women’s Connecticut chapter. The e-mail hits Mr. Obama, Illinois Democrat, for voting “present” on abortion-related issues when he served in the Illinois state senate.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supporters sent out mailers on this topic before the New Hampshire election, prompting Mr. Obama to respond with a robo-call that sparked even more controversy. The Clinton supporters argue Mr. Obama was refusing to take a tough yes or no stand on choice issues.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut sent out a response letter where she trumpets her own pro-choice record and praises Mr. Obama.

“Today, though, Barack is under attack he’s being unfairly and wrongly criticized for voting “present” in the Illinois state legislature. Make no mistake, where there are differences on policy, we can debate them, but no one should mislead anyone here in Connecticut about one central fact: Barack Obama has a 100% pro-choice voting record,” she 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.”

She also points voters to a video featuring Lorna Brett, the former pesident of Chicago NOW.

“We’ve seen too many misleading attacks and too much division in our country during the last seven Bush years. I support Barack because he is best able to bring us together as one country — but to do that, we need to first overcome the efforts to falsely attack and artificially divide us as Super Tuesday approaches,” Mrs. DeLauro writes.

In New Hampshire, the Clinton campaign distributed a mailer targeting her rival’s seven “present” votes. The Obama campaign recorded a response call that the Clinton team said violated state laws regarding the do-not-call list and political ads.

Wendy Frosh, a local Planned Parenthood chairman, said in the call the mailer was one of “Hillary Clinton’s last-minute smears.” Ms. Frosh had to take a temporary leave from the Planned Parenthood board and sent an apology insisting her call was not meant to imply an endorsement.

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