Pro-Choice Groups Back Saltonstall Over Stupak In Michigan

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Connie Saltonstall, the former county commissioner mounting a Democratic challenge against Rep. Bart Stupak in Michigan, has added two more national groups to her already impressive line up of national backers.

In a joint release today, Planned Parenthood and NARAL threw their support behind Saltonstall, who is running as a pro-choice Democrat against Stupak, who since the health care debate has emerged as one of the party’s most famous pro-life politicians.

“The clock is ticking on Mr. Stupak’s ’15 minutes of fame,'” NARAL president Nancy Keenan said in a statement today. “We will work to put an end to Mr. Stupak’s divisiveness and replace him with a leader like Connie, who represents Michigan’s mainstream values.”Saltonstall’s campaign said it has no comment on the endorsement. In the past, Stupak’s supporters have told me they expected pro-choice groups to endorse a candidate against him, and they have said they’re ready for whatever challenge comes their way.

NARAL and Planned Parenthood say they think Saltonstall will be a better advocate for women than they say Stupak has been. The groups had tough words for Stupak, who almost brought the health care reform process to a halt with his focus on adding abortion language to the bill. Despite his decision to eventually vote for the bill and help move it toward final passage, the groups say they’re still upset with him.

“During the health care debate, Rep. Stupak continuously tried to block health care reform unless the Stupak abortion coverage ban was adopted,” the groups wrote in their release today. “Fortunately, Rep. Stupak failed in his attempt to insert the Stupak abortion coverage ban in the final health care reform bill.”

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