14 July 2006

NARAL (not really) explaining their Liebermania

See me write to NARAL:
I was deeply disappointed to note that NARAL has decided to endorse Joe Lieberman in the upcoming Senate race in Connecticut. I am at a total loss as to how this support can be reconciled with his performance on issues of reproductive rights.

When Samuel Alito was nominated to the Supreme Court, it went without question that the GOP majority would rubber-stamp him onto the bench. That much was simple mathematics. Therefore, the only vote that mattered was the vote to invoke cloture on debate which, once approved, would lead to the foregone conclusion of Alito's confirmation.

Joseph Lieberman, then, had two votes to cast: one which could support women's rights and one which was, essentially, meaningless. Instead of taking a stand, he voted to end debate and allow the formality of a confirmation vote--where he then cast his useless "nay" ballot so he could claim to support groups like NARAL.

Further, Lieberman went on to support hospitals' right to refuse to provide emergency contraception to *rape victims* based on so-called "principled reasons." His logic being, "it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital."

Joe Liberman doesn't see the problem with making a woman who's already been brutally assaulted go looking for an EC-compatible hospital if--for some strange reason--she doesn't want to risk carrying her attacker's child.

In light of his actions, Joe Lieberman's commitment to women is clearly nonexistent, and NARAL's continued support is as shameful as it is inexplicable.
See NARAL write to me:
I have read your note, and I know you are not happy with us for endorsing Senator Joe Lieberman. Here at NARAL Pro-Choice America, we're very proud of our high standard for endorsement. That having been said, from time to time, it does occasionally occur that a pro-choice elected official will take a position against our recommendation - and when that happens, it's always a disappointment. Senator Lieberman's vote (and the same votes of other fully pro-choice senators) for cloture on the controversial Alito nomination is one case in point. And his comments about emergency contraception caused us concern, as they undoubtedly did you as well - but he has since clarified his position, to our satisfaction. [Ed. They never do get around to that clarification, now do they? --V]

But taking all facts into consideration - including many years of pro-choice votes in the Senate - we believe Senator Lieberman has continued to earn the NARAL Pro-Choice America endorsement. With so many relentless attacks on choice, and an anti-choice president determined to see this right taken away from American women forever, we must prioritize our work, and we need all the friends we can get. We treat him no differently than any other pro-choice senator - Democrat or Republican. I know we disagree on this one point, but our challenge is so monumental that I hope we can continue to stand together against our real opponents: President Bush, congressional leaders, and anti-choice senators who oppose us on every single vote.
See Ned Lamont's views on Reproductive Freedom:
I absolutely support women’s right to complete and appropriate health care and to reproductive freedom. I will fight to make the morning after pill available over the counter, to make emergency contraception available to all rape victims, and to support the nomination and appointment of pro-choice judges.

I would have led the opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Alito, since he fundamentally tilts the balance on the court and jeopardizes a woman’s right to choose. South Dakota recently passed a bill which outlaws a woman’s right to an abortion even in the case of rape and incest; this law is certain to be decided by the newly-reconstituted U.S. Supreme Court.

Oh, I forgot. NARAL didn't see them. From FDL:

It’s official — NARAL has endorsed Joe "short ride" Lieberman. According to Ned Lamont’s campaign manager Tom Swan, Ned was not even asked to take part in the process.

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