This came out on the AP wire on Wednesday but has received scant attention.
Gloria Feldt of Planned Parenthood, the abortion rights group that has already endorsed Kerry in the presidential race, says he is getting bad advice from somebody on the issue of women's rights. Kerry had told the Associated Press in an interview last month that he would consider abortion opponents for lower court judgeships, though he pledged to protect the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.
Since, as a senator, Kerry has always been pro-choice, Feldt read that interview as nervous waffling on the candidate's part (understandable perhaps, since a handful of Republican operatives otherwise known as Bishops of the Church were mounting a crusade to deny Holy Communion to the man and to every Catholic who might vote for him).
"I think John Kerry understands viscerally reproductive rights as being related to women's human rights globally," Feldt said. "But he's got to come up with some better language to talk about it, and I think he's being poorly advised, poorly served by some of his advisers at the moment."
She said Kerry, like Democrat Al Gore in 2000, has become overly cautious when it comes to reproductive rights and would be better served by voters come November if he would talk more forcefully about the subject and set out a clearer agenda on everything from birth control to sex education.
"I think when a candidate has a set of beliefs, even if a voter doesn't agree with that set of beliefs, they have more respect for a candidate. So I'm hoping that Kerry will learn that as he goes along. He's certainly always been strong in his previous races, so I think he'll come to his senses," Feldt said.