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Abortion rights group chastises McCain aide

         WASHINGTON - The National Abortion Rights Action League on Tuesday chastised Carly Fiorina, a key aide to Republican presidential candidate John McCain for implying that McCain favored women's coverage for prescription birth control.

             Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard, on Monday said during a discussion with reporters about women and health insurance, "a real, live example which I've been hearing a lot about from women: There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth-control medication. Those women would like a choice."

             NARAL President Nancy Keenan said "Fiorina’s comments are in direct contradiction with McCain’s record. In fact, McCain voted against a proposal that would have required insurance companies to cover prescription contraception in the same way they pay for Viagra."

          That vote came in March, 2005, on an amendment sponsored by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

           Sen. McCain, R-Ariz., has voted against family planning 22 times, Keenan said, adding McCain has an "extensive record of votes against birth control, including a vote to eliminate the Title X family-planning program, which provides millions of women with health-care services ranging from birth control to breast cancer screenings."

         Of course, McCain, who describes  himself as "pro-life," could hardly expect to get a kind word from NARAL. The organization endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., during the Democratic presidential primary, and is virtually sure to formally back Obama against McCain in the general election, if both are nominated.

--Douglas Turner

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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

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Tom Precious

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Jill Terreri

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Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

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