NH Pro-Choice Leaders Praise Senator Clinton 's Commitment to Women's Issues in Letter to NH Voters

MANCHESTER, NH – Today, two dozen pro-choice leaders from across New Hampshire released a letter to Granite State voters detailing Senator Clinton's record of fighting for a woman's right to choose. The letter notes that unlike Senator Barack Obama, who voted "present" on seven votes concerning choice in the Illinois State Senate, Senator Clinton has stood up time and again when a woman's right to choose was at stake.

The complete text of the letter follows:

Dear Friend,

As leaders on reproductive choice and women's health, we believe it is important for voters in New Hampshire to have the facts about Hillary's demonstrated record of commitment to reproductive choice versus Barack Obama's record - and not be misled by unfounded accusations. Let's look at the facts.

First and foremost, there should be no question of Hillary Clinton's leadership on issues of sex education, contraception and choice:

* Hillary spoke out on the Senate floor in opposition to Supreme Court nominees Roberts and Alito about her concern that Roe v. Wade was in danger, a fear that unfortunately was realized with the Court's Carhardt v. Gonzales decision, which marked a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman's right to choose and recognized the importance of women's health.

* Hillary led the three-year fight in the Senate, with Senator Patty Murray of Washington State, to force the Bush administration to make a decision on over-the-counter access to Plan B emergency contraception. This important birth control option for women absolutely would not have happened if Hillary had not stood up to the Bush White House. And when the Bush administration refused to make Plan B available to our servicewomen abroad, Hillary introduced legislation to make it available.

* Hillary has taken the lead in supporting family planning in the U.S. Senate. Hillary doesn't just talk about the importance of family planning, she teamed up with Senator Harry Reid to introduce the Prevention First Act, which would provide the first federal funding for comprehensive sex education and expand Medicaid family planning services.

* As First Lady, she worked to form the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, which led to a major drop in teen pregnancies, and led efforts to increase federal funding of family planning.

Second, as the Clinton campaign states, as a State Senator, Senator Obama voted "present" - instead of "yes" or "no" - seven times on issues related to protecting a women's right to choose. Illinois NOW cited Obama's "present" votes on tough choice issues in the Illinois State Legislature when explaining why they would not endorse him. The difference between Hillary's repeatedly standing up strong on choice and Obama's unwillingness to vote "yes" or "no" is a clear contrast, and we believe the voters in New Hampshire deserve to know this difference.

We support Hillary Clinton because she never ducked when choice was at stake. She has a lifelong commitment to standing up for women on the issue of choice and many other important issues like pay equity, fairness in the workplace, and microenterprise loans for women in developing countries. There is no doubt that as President, Hillary Clinton will stand by us and stand strong for choice.


Katherine Wells Wheeler, Durham

Former State Senator; Founder and Former Board Member of NARAL Pro-Choice NH Foundation, former Board Member Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

Christy Dolat Bartlett, Concord

President, Merrimack Valley Day Care Services Board

Leah Caswell, Portsmouth

Former NARAL Pro-Choice NH Board Member

Monica Ciolfi, Concord

Pro-Choice Activist

Susan Colwell, Manchester

Former President of Manchester YWCA and Former Chair of NH Commission on the Status of Women

Jennifer Frizzell, Concord

Former NH Public Affairs Director for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

Lindsay Hanson, Concord

Pro-Choice Activist

Maggie Hassan, Exeter

State Senator

Martha Hennessey, Hanover

Pro-Choice Activist

Bev Hollingworth, Hampton

Executive Councilor

E. Barclay Jackson, Portsmouth

Women's Rights and Pro-Choice Activist, President of Womenaid of Greater Portsmouth

Sandra Balomenos Keans, Rochester

Former State Representative; Pro-Choice Activist

Molly Kelly, Keene

State Senator

Bette Lasky, Nashua

State Representative

Martha McLeod, Franconia

State Representative

Kris Moody, Barrington

NH NOW President

Terie Norelli, Portsmouth

Speaker of the NH House; Former NARAL Pro-Choice NH Board Member, former NARAL Pro-Choice NH PAC Chair

Elizabeth C. Sensenig, Plainfield

Nurse Practitioner

Jill Silos, PhD, Newmarket

College Professor and Pro-Choice Activist

Kathy Sullivan, Manchester

Former Treasurer of the NH Women's Lobby and Pro-Choice Activist

Laura Thibault, Thornton

Former Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice NH

Kate Vaughn, Manchester

Pro-Choice Activist

Mary Jane Wallner, Concord

Majority Leader, NH State House of Representatives

Pat Yosha, Exeter

Former Chair NH Commission on the Status of Women