NARAL Endorses Obama

by matttbastard

Press release:


Washington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, released the following statement today, announcing that her organization’s political action committee proudly endorses Sen. Barack Obama for president.

“Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC is proud to endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president. Sen. Obama has been a strong advocate for a woman’s right to choose throughout his career in public office. 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. Since joining the Senate in 2005, he has worked to unite Americans on both side of this debate behind commonsense, common-ground ways to prevent unintended pregnancy. Sen. Obama supports legislation to provide our teens with comprehensive sex education, prevent pharmacies from denying women access to their legal birth-control prescriptions, and increase access to family-planning services.

“We are confident that Barack Obama is the candidate of the future. Americans are tired of the divisive politics of the last eight years, and will unite behind Obama in the fall. We look forward to working with a pro-choice Obama White House in January.”

Keenan also praised Senator Clinton as a pro-choice leader. “Americans have been fortunate to have two fully pro-choice candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination. But only one can go forward to the general election. It is truly historic for us to have these two outstanding candidates in the race.”

For more information, please visit

So, Obama now has in his corner John Edwards, who has broad appeal to white working class voters, and NARAL, which is quite obviously sending a message to Senator Clinton’s white feminist base. I highly doubt the timing of either announcement (ie, coming right after a brutal 40 point thumpin’ in WV that surprised no one) is coincidental. Big Media Matt may be correct here:

It seems that nobody’s going to “force” Hillary Clinton out of the race, but when you have her natural allies deciding that the time’s come to endorse in the Obama-McCain race you can see it’s over in more than just the mathematical sense.

More from NARAL president Nancy Keenan @ HuffPo on why the preeminent pro-choice advocacy organization in the US decided to back Obama.

Update: Even if the Democratic party race does appear to be “over in more than just the mathematical sense”, I think zuzu has a point here:

[W]here’s the fire? Why not let everyone get a chance to meaningfully participate before you start declaring the race over?

Again, I quote Alan Wolfe:

Recent elections have been marked by high levels of voter ignorance, low turnout, polarization between the parties and media coverage as broad as it was shallow. But within the Democratic Party this time, we have been witnessing the exact opposite: engagement and excitement. Pundits worry that the long race hurt the Democrats’ chances in the fall, but it’s hard to share their gloom when the whole exercise has been so good for our civic health.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

3 thoughts on “NARAL Endorses Obama

  1. And we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. It’s fairly clear that Edwards got some sort of pledge from Obama to put the fight against poverty on his agenda more clearly (can’t imagine why a racialized American wouldn’t have it there anyway!) so some people have suggested that Clinton may seek some consideration for universal health care.


  2. publius @ ObWings:

    [C]olor me a bit skeptical that everything came together at the last minute. It’s too perfect — endorsing Obama the day after West Virginia in Michigan (which I consider to be the most endangered “Kerry state” in November). It’s also consistent with the Obama campaign’s strategy to counter losses with next-day endorsements. Finally, it’s consistent with Edwards’ recent — and increasingly skeptical — statements about Clinton.

    But that said, if it did come together last minute (and they say it did), does that mean that NARAL was originally planned as the “big endorsement”? It’s not like everyone didn’t see West Virginia coming a mile away. The Obama team had plenty of time to plot their next-day media strategy.

    Also note the emphasis Edwards put on universal health care as a Democratic priority during his endorsement speech.


  3. Yah, believe me I’m sceptical too. But I saw Edwards on Charlie Rose back in January (or thereabouts) and he said he’d back Obama if he got knocked out. As for timing, well, who the hell knows is all I can say!!! What was on NARAL’s mind I also don’t know. I have to respect anyone’s decision about who they’re supporting, but NARAL does seem to have timed it to do max damage to Hillary. And I bet it puts Obama into a bit of a tricky sitch with a bunch a peeps too. Ah well, you can have them all.


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