Kelli Conlin

The Empire

Conlin departs NARAL NY with no explanation

Friday, January 21, 2011

A spokesperson for the group - who announced Conlin's departure via press release this afternoon - is not explaining why, after 18 years, Conlin is now leaving.

The statement announcing Conlin's departure only says the she "has departed" and "will be they move forward under new leadership."

Conlin's cell phone wasn't taking incoming calls when I tried it just now. Another woman's rights activist based in New York City only learned about Conlin's departure from my phone call.

This activist seemed surprised Conlin would leave the venerable organization she helped put on the map.

"She built that group from the ground up," one reproductive rights activists told me, who learned of Conlin's departure from my call.

A spokeswoman for NARAL Pro-Choice NY, Mary Alice Carr, said she cannot provide any additional information beyond the group's public statement.

In political circles, Conlin has been a respected, and revered voice. She's usually endorsed the winning candidates in major races (Cuomo, Schneiderman, Bloomberg), and has managed to make the group a sought-after validator for most Democrats running for office.

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The Empire

NARAL hits Donovan for funding misleading pregnancy center

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NARAL's Kelli Conlin said Dan Donovan helped fund an organization whose "purpose is to mislead" pregnant women about abortions and access to reproductive care.

Conlin cited a Staten Island Advance article which said Donovan, now the Republican attorney general candidate, received an award from the Crisis Pregnancy Center of New York for securing grants for them. Conlin said she was not sure how much money Donovan helped them get or where the grants originated.

Conlin said Donovan's support for the group runs counter to his claims now of upholding the state's law currently allowing abortion and guaranteeing safe access to abortion providers.

In response, Donovan's campaign said the father of his Democratic rival is a major contributor to abortion groups, and specifically NARAL.

"Irwin Schneiderman, the candidate's wealthy father…has been the single largest donor to [NARAL's] political action committee, giving at least $75,000 in the last six years," said Donovan spokeswoman Virginia Lam.

Conlin said abortion was an important issue in the attorney general's race because "the rest of the nation depends on New York State to lead the way" on filing legal briefs in federal cases.

[Disclosure: Irwin Schneiderman serves on WNYC's Board of Trustees.]

UPDATE: Schneiderman's campaign emails to ask, "Did Mr. Donovan secure grants for an anti-choice activist group [and] why did the group award him for this anti-choice activism?"

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