MANCHESTER, N.H. — New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton criticizes rival Barack Obama's record on abortion rights in a mailing sent to New Hampshire voters -- her first direct attack on the Illinois senator since his Democratic victory in Iowa.
The mailer says that seven times during his tenure in the Illinois state Senate, Obama declined to take a position on abortion bills, whereas Clinton has been a defender of abortion rights.
During his eight years in the Legislature, Obama cast a number of votes on abortion issues and received a rating of 100% from the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council for his support of abortion rights, family planning services and health insurance coverage for female contraceptives.
He joined some other state Democrats in voting "present" on some bills.
The mailing comes amid division within the Clinton campaign over how negative it should go against Obama after his victory Thursday in the Iowa caucuses.
During the Iowa campaign, the Clinton campaign criticized Obama's position on health- care.
But Clinton is taking a different approach in New Hampshire.
"A woman's right to choose . . ." her mailing says on the front, then continues on the back, ". . . demands a leader who will stand up and protect it."
The mailer says "Paid for by Hillary Clinton for President." Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said the campaign decided to send the piece because "as Sen. Obama has said, 'Voting records matter.' "
Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded, "The Clinton campaign's false negative attacks were rejected by Iowa voters, and we expect that they'll suffer the same fate here in New Hampshire."