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August 25, 2008

President of NARAL Pro-Choice America Delivers Speech at Democratic National Convention

Denver, CO – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, spoke tonight at the Democratic National Convention. Video of the speech is available on YouTube. Her remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:

On behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America and our one-million member activists, I am honored to be at this historic convention where delegates will nominate Sen. Barack Obama as the next pro-choice president of the United States.

As a former elected official from Montana, I am proud to say that my party — the Democratic Party — is a party of many faiths and backgrounds united behind these core moral values:

We support and defend a woman's right to choose safe, legal abortion.

We believe we can and should do more to prevent unintended pregnancy, which would reduce the need for abortion.

We stand for the teaching of honest, realistic sex education.

We stand for the right to choose contraception.

We stand with women who choose adoption.

We stand with women who choose to continue their pregnancies, and we will support them in the responsibilities of raising a child.

We recognize that the debate over reproductive rights has often been divisive. The slogans and bumper stickers that paint this issue in black and white fail to acknowledge the profound complexity most people feel on the issue of abortion. 

We can honor and respect those opinions while still protecting the fundamental values of freedom and privacy. On the other side, there's John McCain who has voted to ban abortion with no exceptions for the victims of incest or rape and has embraced  his party's platform that calls for outlawing abortion in all cases.

So, I ask John McCain: 

How is it moral…John McCain…to vote to eliminate a family-planning program that provides millions of low-income women with access to birth control and breast-cancer screenings?

How is it moral…John McCain…to talk about respecting life while opposing the extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program?

How is it moral…John McCain…to force teachers to censor life-saving information from our teens, as they must do under the failed abstinence-only policy?

These questions matter as this historic election coincides with the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Reproductive freedom is on the line. The Supreme Court is at an ideological tipping point. The next president will decide Roe's fate.

John McCain has spent more than 25 years in Washington voting against women's freedom and has pledged to appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who will overturn Roe v. Wade.

Tonight, we invite Americans who share our values—including moderate Republicans and Independents—to unite behind our common goal of electing Sen. Barack Obama, an effective and passionate leader who will protect a woman's right to choose now and for future generations.

Thank you, and good night.


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