Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who has pledged to veto legislation that restricts the right to abortion, and Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., a longtime advocate of abortion rights, yesterday won the endorsement of Choice PAC, a group dedicated to electing candidates who favor keeping abortion legal.
Since its formation in May, Choice PAC has raised about $40,000 for legislative candidates who support abortion rights. This week, the group decided to make endorsements in the governor's and attorney general's races as well.
"Governor Schaefer's commitment to support legislation to keep abortion safe and legal, despite his personal views against abortion, shows a clear understanding of the pro-choice position," said Steven Rivelis, the Choice PAC chairman, in a statement.
"The decision to have an abortion is a private matter. A personal matter. It should be made by the individual and not be restricted by a politician," the statement said.
In declaring support for the attorney general, Mr. Rivelis called Mr. Curran "a pro-choice champion" and said he "has consistently worked to protect the right to privacy and the right to choose. Mr. Curran realizes that these fundamental rights, guaranteed by the Constitution, are central to a system of limited government that respects individual rights, civil liberties and religious freedom."
Last week, the Maryland Right to Life Political Action Committee endorsed William S. Shepard, the Republican candidate for governor. Mr. Shepard believes abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape and incest, if the fetus will have gross defects or if the woman's life is in danger.
The state's other major abortion-rights group, the Maryland affiliate of the National Abortion Rights Action League, is concentrating on state Senate and House races and will not be endorsing a gubernatorial candidate.