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Antiabortion-Rights Groups Step Up Attacks on Democrats as Midterm Elections Near

Antiabortion-Rights Groups Step Up Attacks on Democrats as Midterm Elections Near

August 11, 2010 — Continuing its campaign against antiabortion-rights House Democrats who voted for the federal health reform law (PL 111-148), the Susan B. Anthony List on Tuesday launched a bus tour through 23 cities in swing states to rally support from social conservatives, the Washington Independent reports. The bus -- dubbed the "Votes Have Consequences Express" -- will travel to Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. According to former U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, project director for SBA List, in the districts the bus will visit, "more than three-quarters of the voters say they oppose taxpayer-funded abortion."

Antiabortion-rights advocates' arguments concern a decision by a bloc of House Democrats to vote for the health reform law after President Obama pledged to issue an executive order reiterating that federal funds would not be used for abortion services. Although legal and health care experts -- and even some Republican lawmakers -- say the reform law will not provide taxpayer money for abortion services, Musgrave and other abortion-rights opponents maintain that the restrictions are too lax. They argue that a provision in the law requiring private money for abortion coverage to be kept in a separate account from federal dollars is an "accounting gimmick," according to the Independent. The groups say that the executive order could be rescinded in the future and does not carry the same weight as a law.

Timothy Jost, a health law expert and law professor at Washington and Lee University, said that the groups targeting Democrats who voted for the law "have a political agenda, and it's a partisan political agenda, and they're not particularly interested in the truth." He added, "What they want to do is elect Republicans" (Zwick, Washington Independent, 8/11).