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State AG Candidates Spar Over Issue Of Abortion

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With the backing of pro-choice advocates, candidate for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman continued Saturday to use abortion as a wedge issue in his race against Republican Dan Donovan.

"He's made an effort to say choice doesn't matter," Schneiderman told supporters in Westchester.

Donovan maintains it's not that abortion doesn't matter. He says it just shouldn't be an issue in this race.

"It's been the law of our land for nearly 40 years, and it's been the law of our state from even before that. So that's never gonna change," Donovan told supporters on Staten Island.

Pro-choice groups, though disagree.

"Choice is very much on the table when it comes to electing an attorney general," said Choice Matters, Inc. President & Chair Catherine Dederer-Plaskett. "In Virginia, even today, the attorney general is trying to close 20 safe legal clinics."

Schneiderman says the attorney general's office is the frontline of defense for abortion rights.

"It's not a role for someone who's going to be passive on the issue. This is a time for activism, this is a time for a strong defense of these rights," Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman claims Donovan obtained grant money for Staten Island pregnancy crisis centers, which are anti-abortion. A spokesperson for Donovan says anything he did was under the direction of the borough president, who ultimately signed off on grants.

"What happens sometimes in political campaigns is people put up smoke screens," Donovan said.

Donovan argues not one woman on Staten Island was denied the right to chose while he has been District Attorney, suggesting abortion is not what needs attention right now.

"I've been trying to show people that I have no ties to Albany, no ties to the special interest there. I think right now our state needs a prosecutor in this position. Somebody who can root out corruption in state government," Donovan said.

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