Anti-abortion rights group targets ‘pro-life’ senators who voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood

Protester in Washington, D.C. (flickr/JBrazito)

As it turned out, Planned Parenthood did not lose federal funding for family planning and reproductive services in the federal budget for fiscal year 2011 passed Thursday by Congress — and in retaliation, the Susan B. Anthony List announced Friday that it is launching a campaign to target senators who voted for the budget bill.

In particular, the group is going after Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), “to educate constituents about their senators’ vote in support of taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood,” according to a press release. Once again, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson is being used to attack her former employer, this time in radio ads, where she will ask constituents to call up the aforementioned senators and voice their disapproval.

“Votes have consequences, especially for politicians who say one thing at home and do another in Washington when it comes to protecting Life,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, in a statement. “As self-described ‘pro-life’ Democrats, Sens. Nelson and Casey betrayed their constituents by voting for taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Claire McCaskill, a supposed ‘moderate,’ will have a hard time justifying to her constituents why she voted to continue giving their tax dollars to America’s largest abortion provider during a time of fiscal crisis. Funding an organization that flaunts federal law and cares nothing for the safety of women and young girls makes no fiscal sense, especially at a time when our country is in fiscal peril.”

Other anti-abortion rights groups have jumped on the senator-scolding bandwagon.

“For the first time the Senate was forced to go on record over whether they support using Americans’ tax dollars to support the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, a bloated, scandal-ridden abortion advocate,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest in a statement. ”But today’s vote made clear which Senators care more about the interests of the politically influential abortion lobby than the lives and safety of American women and families.”

AUL has also announced it will be using senators’ votes for funding Planned Parenthood against them.

The SBA List claims to have spent more than $500,000 so far to defund Planned Parenthood, with television, radio and print ads, a bus tour and grassroots organizing, in addition to $11 million during the 2010 midterm election cycle.

But they’re not done yet, apparently.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Susan B. Anthony List spent more than $2.5 million total in the 2010 federal elections – $628,000 supporting Republicans (including $8,052 to Indiana Rep. Mike Pence’s campaign) and $1 million against Democrats, as well as $539,000 on electioneering communications.

The SBA List takes credit for helping to defeat 15 out of 20 “so-called ‘pro-life’ Democrats who voted for abortion funding in the health care reform bill” — and claims to have helped increase the number of pro-life women in the House by 70 percent, “filling the void of pro-life women in the U.S. Senate,” and increasing pro-life women governors from one to four.

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