Maryland NARAL PAC Endorses Kathleen Kennedy Townsend for Governor of Maryland
From: Nancy C. Lineman of NARAL, 301-565-4154 or 301-518-0251 (cell)
BETHESDA, Md, April 25 -- More than 150 citizens, members of the General Assembly and local elected officials will join Maryland NARAL PAC for a cocktail reception as it issues its first major endorsement of the 2002 election season.
The pro-choice advocacy group will endorse Kathleen Kennedy Townsend for Governor of Maryland tonight at the Barking Dog Restaurant in Bethesda Maryland from 5:30 - 8 p.m. Ms. Townsend will be present to accept the endorsement.
"Kathleen Kennedy Townsend trusts women. She understands that women can make these private decisions without government interference," said Nancy C. Lineman, executive director of Maryland NARAL. "We can count on her to protect reproductive freedom and veto any legislation that negatively affects women's choices."
For the past eight years, Lt. Governor Townsend fought along side of Governor Parris Glendening to oppose any efforts to overturn Maryland's current law protecting a woman's right to choose or compromising reproductive freedom.
Reproductive rights will be a critical issue in the upcoming election, when Townsend will face Republican contender Rep. Bob Ehrlich. Of the 45 votes Congressman Ehrlich has taken that could have significantly impacted reproductive freedom, he cast anti-choice votes 21 times. (See voting record attached.)
"Saying Bob Ehrlich is pro-choice is to ignore half of his voting record and the hundreds of thousands of women whose reproductive freedoms have been denied because of the votes he's cast," said Lineman, "His voting record speaks louder than his rhetoric."
"Governors have a profound effect on reproductive rights. We need to ensure that a fully pro-choice governor is elected to protect the reproductive freedom and rights of all Maryland women. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend will be that Governor," said Lineman.
--- Representative Bob Ehrlich's Voting Record on Reproductive Choice
During his eight years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Bob Ehrlich (R-MD) has taken 45 votes that had the potential to have a critical impact on abortion and reproductive rights. Of that number, 21 were anti-choice votes.
Undermining Roe v. Wade
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted in favor of banning safe, common abortion procedures prior to fetal viability without an exception to protect a woman's health.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted to overturn President Clinton's veto of a bill banned safe, common abortion procedures prior to fetal viability without an exception to protect a woman's health.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted in favor of granting individual rights to fetuses. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act would make it a crime to cause the death or injury of an "unborn child" who is "in-utero." This bill would recognize for the first time a zygote, blastocyst, embryo or fetus as an independent victim of a crime with rights separate and equal to those of a woman and worthy of legal protection.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted against allowing funds from federal law enforcement block grants to be used to protect reproductive health clinics from violence and harassment.
Access to Emergency Contraception (A series of high-dose birth control pills when taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, reduce the chance of pregnancy by 89 percent.)
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted to ban the prescription of emergency contraceptive pills for minors at school-based health centers.
Access to Abortion Services for Women in Federal Prisons
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted against overturning current law which prohibits funding for abortion services for women in federal prisons.
Access to Abortion Services for Military Personnel
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted in favor of overturning current law which prohibits military personnel and their dependents from obtaining privately funded abortions at overseas military hospitals.
Access to Abortion Services for Women on Medicaid
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted against allowing the District of Columbia to use its own privately raised revenues to provide funding for abortion to Medicaid-eligible women.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted in favor of allowing state funds to be used to pay for an abortion for Medicaid recipients in the cases of rape or incest.
General Access to Abortion Services
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted in favor of overturning current law which prohibits federal employees and their dependents from choosing a health insurance plan with abortion coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits program.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted in favor of a bill to criminalize anyone -- other than a parent -- including an adult sibling, grandparent, or religious counselor who accompanies a minor across state lines for an abortion if the minor as not complied with her state's mandated parental consent or notification laws.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted to ban funding for human embryo research, impeding the potential for life-saving medical advances.
Access to Medical Abortion
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted against prohibiting the Food and Drug Administration from testing, developing, approving or manufacturing drugs used solely for early non-surgical abortions including mifepristone, commonly known as RU-486.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted in favor of overturning the global "gag" rule that prohibits foreign non-governmental organizations that receive U.S. aid from using their own private funds to counsel about abortion or provide services.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted against an amendment to completely eliminate U.S. support for international family planning.
-- Rep. Ehrlich against requiring minors to obtain parental consent for contraception at federally funded (Title X) family planning clinics.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted against an amendment to completely eliminate funding for Title X -- America's family planning program.
-- Rep. Ehrlich voted in favor of requiring Federal Employee Health Benefits plans which cover prescription drugs to also cover FDA approve contraceptive drugs and devices.
------ Maryland NARAL PAC is a committee of Maryland NARAL, Inc. the state affiliate of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League working to elect pro-choice candidates to statewide office.