Michaud, a Democrat, developed a pro-life reputation while representing the more conservative voters of northern Maine, but he earned the support of the pro-abortion super PAC as the result of his “evolution” on public policies regarding the termination of pregnancies.
“[Michaud’s] evolution on the issues of reproductive freedom and abortion access comes as a result of taking the time to hear the real stories of women and families who have grappled with these personal decisions in his state,” said NARAL President Ilyse Hogue in a press release.
In response to the endorsement, Michaud praised NARAL’s work advocating for abortion and further explained his evolution.
“As a Franco-American Catholic, I personally have struggled, like many others, with this issue since I was first elected to office at the age of 24,” he said. “But over the years my views have changed, thanks in large part to groups like NARAL and the countless women who have shared their personal stories and concerns with me while I’ve been in office.”
Independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler, who is also “pro-choice,” blasted NARAL’s decision to endorse Michaud, citing his prior support of abortion restriction laws in a Facebook post:
In 2009, Mike Michaud voted in favor of the Stupak-Pitts amendment to ban private insurance plans from covering abortions. It was called “the greatest restriction of a woman’s right to choose in the history of the current Congress.” The President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Nancy Keenan, said her organization “will hold those lawmakers who sided with the extreme Stupak-Pitts amendment accountable for abandoning women and capitulating to the most extreme fringe of the anti-choice movement.”
Today, NARAL endorsed Mike Michaud. That’s holding him accountable? (Only if you’re a Democratic Party affiliate.)
Carol Conley, executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, said Michaud’s drift from a pro-life conservative Democrat to a pro-abortion liberal has been underway since he first went to Washington, D.C., to join Congress.
“It is unfortunate that many value voters in Maine are under the erroneous impression that Mike Michaud is still pro-life,” said Conley.
“Let’s be perfectly clear: if Mike Michaud believed in defending the unborn, he would not have consistently voted to fund Planned Parenthood while he served in Congress,” he said. “There is no way organizations like NARAL would ever consider endorsing Michaud unless weren’t a a strong advocate for abortion.”
NARAL operates a political action committee which will likely contribute to Michaud’s campaign.