Abortion-rights group backs Obama
One of the largest abortion rights groups
in the United States threw its weight Wednesday behind Barack Obama in his bid
for the Democratic presidential nomination.
NARAL Pro-Choice America endorsed Obama, even though it had for years backed his rival for the nomination, Hillary Clinton, who has a long history of supporting women's rights to abortion.
"He steadfastly supports and defends a woman's right to make the most personal, private decisions regarding her reproductive health without interference from government or politicians," said Nancy Keenan, the group's president.
Keenan praised Clinton as an "outstanding" candidate with a solid record of protecting women's rights.
"Americans have been fortunate to have two fully pro-choice candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination," Keenan said. "But only one can go forward to the general election."
Obama and Clinton remain locked in a tight race for the centre- left Democratic nod, while John McCain has already wrapped up the centre-right Republican nomination. McCain opposes abortion.
Clinton handily defeated Obama in West Virginia's primary on Tuesday by a 40 percentage-point margin but continued to trail Obama in the overall race for the nomination.
Clinton has faced pressure to drop out of the race so that Democrats can focus on defeating McCain in the November 4 election.
Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee reached a deal with the Clinton and Obama campaigns that allows it to begin raising money for the party's bid for the White House, regardless of who winds up with the nomination, dpa reported.