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A pro-life group appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court over its right to post billboards that highlighted the pro-abortion vote of a congressman isn’t sitting idle as it awaits a ruling.
The Susan B. Anthony List already is taking the message to voters in at least three more largely conservative-leaning states.
The message is that the senators, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, supported funding abortions through their Obamacare votes.
The Democrat lawmakers are facing high hurdles in their re-election campaigns in states where abortion funding is a concern of voters. Already, in this election year, Democrats are hindered by a stagnant economy, massive new taxes, a failed foreign policy and scandals linked to the White House that could cost them control of the Senate.
The SBA List said it is highlighting through the billboards the Democrats’ support of “taxpayer funded abortion by voting for the Affordable Care Act.”
“The law, known as Obamacare, provides new federal tax subsidies that will finance elective abortion coverage for millions of women, expands state Medicaid program coverage of elective abortion for millions of women in dozens of states, and uses federal funds to finance elective abortion coverage for members of Congress and their staff,” the SBA List said.
In its Supreme Court case, Susan B. Anthony List v. Steven Driehaus, the organization is making a First Amendment challenge to Ohio’s “false statement” law.
In 2010, the SBA List tried to put up billboards to educate then-Congressman Driehaus’ constituents about his vote in support of taxpayer-funded abortion but was prevented from doing so because of the Ohio law. The SBA List was also threatened with prosecution if it engaged in similar speech about Driehaus or other candidates in Ohio.
SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser noted Driehaus initially opposed Obamacare because it did not contain specific language preventing the funding of abortion.
“That never changed and to this very day, Americans are still fighting the expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion brought about by the overhaul,” Dannenfelser said.
But Driehaus brought the complaint after news that he changed his vote to support Obamacare, arguing he didn’t think Obamacare funded abortion.
State officials, citing a law that “criminalizes ‘false’ political speech” and lets state bureaucrats decide what is true and what is false, banned the billboards. SBA List was threatened with prosecution if it engaged in similar speech about Driehaus or other candidates.
Separately, the SBA List won a case with Driehaus in which he filed a defamation lawsuit alleging SBA List cost him his job and a “loss of livelihood.” A district court held that SBA List’s statements about Driehaus’ vote on Obamacare were not defamatory.
About the newest billboards, Dannenfelser said: “Senators Hagan, Landrieu and Pryor betrayed the unborn and their pro-life constituents by voting for Obamacare, which uses tax dollars to fund elective abortion.
“Research both from the Charlotte Lozier Institute and the Kaiser Foundation found that millions of women will gain elective abortion coverage under Obamacare through the Medicaid expansion and new federal premium subsidies,” she said.
“Since 2010, we have fought for our right to tell the truth about the abortion funding problems in Obamacare and expose the legislators who supported it. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider our right to do just that later this month. In the meantime, we cannot be silent. Our founders braved the threat of the gallows so that we would not have to fear speaking our true convictions.”