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NARAL Mobilizes for Johnsen, Other Obama Nominees

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said her organization is mobilizing its nationwide network of activists and supporters to call on the U.S. Senate to confirm three Obama nominees--Judge David Hamilton, Prof. Dawn Johnsen, and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius--and stop anti-choice attacks on these nominees simply because of their previous pro-choice positions.

Anti-choice organizations and their allies in Congress have lobbed outrageous attacks at Gov. Sebelius, President Obama's nominee to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services, because of her pro-choice record. Their vitriol has been even more heated when directed toward Judge Hamilton and Prof. Johnsen. Today's New York Times and other media reported that anti-choice senators are threatening a filibuster to block Prof. Johnsen, who has been nominated to lead the office of legal counsel at the Justice Department, and Judge Hamilton, who is President Obama's pick for a seat on a federal appeals court.

"The use of the 'f' word when referring to any of these nominees is unacceptable--and this threat will not go unanswered," Keenan said. "America's pro-choice majority will fight back against anti-choice senators' attempts to block these three highly qualified pro-choice nominees. Our activists will make it clear to their senators that derailing nominees for critical positions in the Obama administration and in the federal courts simply because they have taken pro-choice positions is not an option. We will keep up the pressure until we go three for three and see these distinguished nominees confirmed by the Senate."

NARAL Pro-Choice America's Choice Action Network consists of more than 550,000 email activists in all 50 states, including large contingencies in Pennsylvania, Maine, and other states with senators whose votes are crucial to all three nominations. The organization's Three-for-Three campaign will begin this week and continue through the two-week congressional recess.

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at