Ex-Prez of NARAL stumps for Obama

We spoke today with Kate Michelman, the former president of the abortion rights group NARAL, who did several campaign stops in the suburbs for Barack Obama as part of a push for women voters.

Pundits are calling female voters a key demographic in this election. (Check out this MSNBC report or this story from the Chicago Sun Times.) And by selecting Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain is clearly hoping to get more female support.

But Michelman – who supported John Edwards before endorsing Obama earlier this year -- said that women should not be swayed by just a woman on the ballot.

“I do think that Sarah Palin has grabbed the attention of women, absolutely. In many ways she’s remarkable. But once you get beyond the remarkable, remarkable and you look at her views and her values, it speaks loudly to how John McCain sees issues and sees women,” she said. “I think Sen Obama and Sen. Biden are right on the issues for women.”

Michelman also said that economic downturn hits women hard.

“Women are the first to feel any adversity in the economy,” she said. “I think Sen Obama has enormous strength in understanding what needs to be done in the economy, needs to be done in health care. He needs to talk about the issues and he is talking about the issues.” 

And she said that John McCain does not support abortion rights.

“There’s no question that Roe v Wade hangs by a thread. That right to decide about whether and when to become a mother will be lost under a John McCain-Sarah Palin administration,” she said.

(For more on the abortion issue, here's a good AP story on the candidates' positions on choice.)