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Planned Parenthood criticizes Dold for abortion stance
By Russell Lissau | Daily Herald Staff

Robert Dold


Dan Seals


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Published: 10/5/2010 12:01 AM

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In the race for the 10th District congressional seat, Republican Robert Dold has repeatedly claimed he's pro-choice while simultaneously saying he favors placing some limits on a woman's right to choose.

By opposing late-term abortions and taxpayer-funded procedures and backing parental notification laws, Dold has said he has a moderate stance on the abortion issue.

Now, one of the nation's leading abortion-rights groups, Planned Parenthood, is criticizing that stance.

In a new feature at, the group's political action committee has identified the race for the 10th District seat one of the Top 10 contests in the nation "for women's health and reproductive rights."

The piece calls out Dold for supporting some restrictions on abortion rights. It also endorses Democrat Dan Seals, mirroring a July endorsement from the group's Illinois chapter.

Dold spokeswoman Kelly Klopp insists the Republican hopeful respects a woman's right to choose. She criticized Seals' position.

"Dan Seals' support of using taxpayer money to fund abortions, allowing 15-year-old girls to have a medical procedure without notifying an adult and allowing late-term abortions is not in line with the voters of the 10th Congressional District," Klopp said.

Seals spokeswoman Aviva Gibbs said the Democrat is proud to have the backing of Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups.

Seals, of Wilmette, and Dold, of Kenilworth, are facing off to replace Republican Mark Kirk in the 10th District, which includes parts of Cook and Lake counties. Kirk is leaving the House to run for Senate.

Dold is a business owner and first-time candidate. Seals is a business consultant and university lecturer making his third bid for Congress.

The Seals-versus-Dold matchup is the only Illinois race on the Planned Parenthood list, which a group spokesman said was posted on its website Friday.

The other contests chosen are races for the U.S. House or Senate in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Washington and Wisconsin.

The feature lists reasons why Planned Parenthood allies should vote for Seals, particularly his vocal, unqualified support of a woman's right to choose and endorsements from several abortion-rights organizations.

Conversely, it spells out reasons the group believes people shouldn't vote for Dold. Chief among them is Dold's often-repeated claim he is pro-choice even though he "has been outspoken in his support for placing restrictions on abortion access and further limiting public funding for reproductive health," the piece reads.

The report also mentions the support Dold received in the Republican primary from the Illinois Federation for Right to Life, an anti-abortion group.

That group didn't endorse Dold but listed him as "recommended" among the GOP candidates because of the limitations on abortion he favors.

Planned Parenthood's endorsement of Seals is a switch for the group. When Seals unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2008 against Kirk, the organization endorsed Kirk.

Planned Parenthood isn't the only group critical of Dold's position.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently hit homes in the 10th District with mailers attacking Dold because of the support he received from the Illinois Federation of Right to Life.

The flier did not mention Seals.

Dold spokeswoman Klopp accused Seals and the Democratic committee of "deliberately misleading" potential voters.

"(They) have shown they will say anything and do anything to get Seals elected the third time around," Klopp said.