The temperature rose this week in the Illinois Senate race when the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) endorsed Sen. Paul Simon (D), an abortion-rights supporter, over Rep. Lynn Martin (R), an abortion-rights supporter.
"It's a mystery why a group which purports to support a woman's right to choose would feel compelled to endorse in a race where both candidates are pro-choice," Martin said.
But NARAL executive director Kate Michelman said it was not a difficult decision. "In the next six years, the Senate will almost certainly consider Supreme Court nominees," Michelman said in her endorsement. "This is an area where the difference between Paul Simon and Lynn Martin is crystal clear. Paul Simon's reelection would put us one important step closer to a Senate majority that places principles above party loyalty."
Women make up more than half of the registered voters in Illinois, and Simon, who also received the endorsement of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) this week, took a jab at Martin, saying, "I don't know of a single independent women's group that is going to endorse my opponent."
Martin, who called Simon "a recent convert to the choice position," responded, "Perhaps it is because they care more about keeping the Senate under Democratic control than about preserving a woman's right to choose."