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May 12, 2010

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC Endorses Sestak in Pennsylvania Senate Primary Race

NARAL Pro-Choice America to mobilize more than 250,000 identified pro-choice supporters and activists in Keystone State behind Sestak

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, today announced that her organization's political action committee is endorsing and contributing $5,000 to Rep. Joe Sestak's primary bid against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania.

"Coming from a family of six sisters, I firmly believe in women's rights and equality. I am grateful for NARAL Pro-Choice America's support, and I will continue to champion women's rights as the next Senator from Pennsylvania," Sestak said.

Keenan said a Sestak victory would provide Pennsylvanians with a consistent pro-choice voice in the Senate.

"We are proud to put our organization's support behind Joe Sestak," Keenan said. "Joe Sestak will be a strong voice for women's freedom and privacy in the U.S. Senate. Many Pennsylvanians are under the impression that Arlen Specter might be a reliable pro-choice voice, but his record says otherwise. Pennsylvanians deserve a senator who considers being pro-choice a position of conviction, rather than a position of convenience. This race is at a critical juncture, with many primary voters still undecided. We want pro-choice voters in the Democratic primary to know that, without question, Joe Sestak is the candidate who is best positioned to defeat an anti-choice opponent in the November general election."

Keenan said today's endorsement continued the organization's strong ties with Sestak, who has a fully pro-choice voting record in Congress. In Sestak's first successful campaign against an anti-choice incumbent in 2006, NARAL Pro-Choice America spent $232,000 on independent expenditures, including voter identification, polling, persuasion mail pieces, GOTV mail, online alerts, and phone calls, reaching 86,000 households. The NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC contributed $10,000 to Sestak's 2006 campaign and $2,500 to his re-election bid in 2008.

Keenan said Sen. Specter, once a consistent supporter of choice, has compiled a mixed record in the last 15 years. As a past chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a close ally and partner of the Bush administration in helping secure confirmation for several anti-choice judges and two justices, Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito. He also supported the Bush Federal Abortion Ban, upheld by the Roberts court that banned a safe abortion method without an exception to protect the woman's health.

Overall, NARAL Pro-Choice America's political program has helped produce enormous gains for pro-choice forces in Congress, including the combined net gain of 44 pro-choice seats in the House and nine new pro-choice senators in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles. In its 2008 post-election analysis, National Journal ranked NARAL Pro-Choice America second among the nation's top 21 political organizations for its impressive win rate among endorsed congressional candidates in hotly contested races.


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