"In the Illinois state Senate, on issue after issue, my opponent voted 'present,' instead of yes or no. Seven of those votes were on a women's right to choose,"
–—Sen. Hillary Clinton on Sen. Barack Obama at a speech in Iowa. HillaryHub.com
"The Illinois Legislature allows members to vote 'yes,' 'no' or 'present.' Bills need 'yes' votes to pass, so a vote of 'present' counts the same as a 'no.'"
–—PolitiFact.com, in a Feb. 6 article
"He always was going to vote 'no' on these bills. We needed to keep some of our moderate Democrats from voting yes, which is something you never want to happen. By having a well-known supporter of abortion rights also vote present, it gave other Democrats cover."
–—Pam Sutherland, President/CEO of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council. BarackObama.com