Clinton campaign surrogates are still pushing the false line that Obama ducked abortion votes as a state senator, and therefore is weak on reproductive freedom. The National Organization for Women, which has endorsed Clinton, is sending around an email spreading that smear.
From the original NY Times story that the Clinton campaign uses to make hay about Obama's "present" votes:
Seven other times, he voted that way as part of a broad strategy devised by abortion rights advocates to counter anti-abortion bills.
Pam Sutherland, president of Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, said Mr. Obama was one of the senators with a strong stand for abortion rights whom the organization approached about using the strategy. Ms. Sutherland said the Republicans were trying to force Democrats from conservative districts to register politically controversial no votes.
Ms. Sutherland said Mr. Obama had initially resisted the strategy because he wanted to vote against the anti-abortion measures.
"He said, 'I'm opposed to this,'" she recalled.
But the organization argued that a present vote would be difficult for Republicans to use in campaign literature against Democrats from moderate and conservative districts who favored abortion rights.
Lisa Madigan, the Illinois attorney general who was in the Illinois Senate with Mr. Obama from 1998 through 2002, said she and Mr. Obama voted present on the anti-abortion bills.
"It's just plain wrong to imply that voting present reflected a lack of leadership," Ms. Madigan said. "In fact, it was the exact opposite."