NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading pro-choice advocacy group, on Thursday will endorse Ed Markey’s Massachusetts Senate bid in the primary special election to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat, TPM has learned.
Rep. Markey, a liberal Democrat, is facing off in the April 30 Democratic primary against his more conservative colleague Rep. Stephen Lynch, a pro-life Democrat.
“Rep. Markey is the only candidate in this race with a steadfast commitment to protecting reproductive freedom and privacy,” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, said in a press release to be sent out Thursday. “Markey shares the widely-held belief that women are capable of making their own health-care decisions without interference from politicians… Ed Markey is the only candidate in this race who women can trust to defend their reproductive rights and we proudly support his campaign. We will do all we can to make sure that our Massachusetts members know he is the reliable ally they should support on April 30.”
NARAL’s PAC has contributed the maximum $5,000 to Markey’s campaign. NARAL plans to work with their Massachusetts chapter to organize activists and provide on-the-ground support for Markey as well.
Markey’s opponent has a mixed record on women’s health and abortion. Lynch was one of 33 House Democrats who voted against health care reform, a law women’s groups champion because it expanded coverage — particularly of reproductive care — and reduced costs for women.
On abortion, Lynch calls himself pro-life, voted for the partial-birth abortion ban, pushed to ban abortions after 24 weeks while in the Massachusetts legislature and opposed “buffer zones” to keep protestors away from abortion clinics, MassLive.com reported. In recent weeks, Lynch has stressed that he does not want to overturn Roe v. Wade and would not support a Supreme Court nominee who does. Lynch has voted against defunding Planned Parenthood, saying access to contraception reduces unwanted pregnancies.