Tuesday, January 22, 2008

payback for Pence?

Apparently, Planned Parenthood has decided to get (much) more aggressive in opposing pro-lifers and supporting pro-choicers in Congress. For years, Democrats and then Republicans in control of Congress were perfectly willing to send federal taxpayer monies to Planned Parenthood. But in the most recent Congress-- after the Republicans had lost their majority-- Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) proposed a bill that would prohibit any federal funding to abortion providers.

Either PP is finally getting its political act together-- or the Pence proposal has finally awakened both the Republicans in Congress and the PP politicos.

From Brody Mullins in today's WSJ (hat tip: Linda Christiansen)...

For the first time, abortion-rights advocate Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. is launching a major effort to elect pro-abortion-rights candidates to Congress and the White House in November.

The nation's largest reproductive-health-care provider plans to spend $10 million in hopes of persuading one million people to vote for abortion-rights candidates in the 2008 election. Planned Parenthood will roll out its election plans today to mark the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal.

With its "One Million Strong" campaign, Planned Parenthood becomes the latest Washington interest group to launch an independent effort to elect candidates who back its priorities. Since Congress enacted a campaign-finance-reform law banning large financial contributions to the Republican and Democratic parties, a growing number of individuals, labor unions, corporations and other interest groups have started or boosted their own campaigns to elect like-minded candidates....

In all, Emily's List hopes to exceed the $46 million it raised for the 2006 election. Another abortion-rights organization, Naral Pro-Choice America, plans to spend $10 million on the general election.

Together, the efforts by the three abortion-rights groups are the most aggressive attempt by abortion-rights advocates to elect like-minded candidates -- most of whom are likely to be Democrats....

Until recently, Planned Parenthood hadn't played a role in elections. In 2004, the organization endorsed Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry for president, marking the first time it had endorsed a presidential candidate in its 90-year history. In 2006, Planned Parenthood lent its backing to a handful of Democratic candidates for governor.

Officials at Planned Parenthood say they decided to move into the campaign arena because they say reproductive rights are under assault by Republicans....

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