Roundup: Primaries, Elections, Abortion (Oh my!)


Because it can’t be election season without talk of abortion, we’ve got more of your reproductive rights-related race news this Monday morning.

First up, we have New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, (Sound familiar? She’s the Ayotte in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New Endland) who is hoping to win the Republican primary for a New Hampshire Senate seat, and she’s got the backing of the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List to the tune of $150,000. SBA is spending the cash on live calls to Republican voters, radio spots, and newspaper ads.

“As our attorney general, Kelly stood up against Gov. Lynch and fought Planned Parenthood all the way to the Supreme Court. And she will take that fight to the U.S. Senate,” says the message, according to a script sent to POLITICO. “Kelly is the clear choice to beat the Democrat Paul Hodes in November, but first she must win on Tuesday. She will be a strong conservative in the U.S. Senate.”

The $50,000 radio buy includes a message from Roger Stenson, vice president of New Hampshire Citizens for Life, who dubs Ayotte a hero to the movement.

“Kelly stood up for the parents of New Hampshire against her own governor and against Planned Parenthood. And she won. She took the heat for doing the right thing, opposing pro-abortion Gov. Lynch and a Democratic legislature. We can trust Kelly Ayotte to stand up for unborn life,” Stenson says.

Ayotte has taken criticism from the right for her handling of a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood against the state. The Union Leader newspaper publisher lambasted her for failing to appeal a lower court’s order to pay the group under a settlement agreement.

As part of the pushback, the SBA List is planning to run three full-page newspaper ads bolstering Ayotte; two in the Manchester Union Leader and another in the Nashua Telegraph, which is published in her hometown.

One of the planned Union Leader ads is a carbon copy of an earlier editorial the paper ran in January 2006, praising “Ayotte’s partial victory” in the case. The other is a written response to the Union Leader’s criticism of Ayotte earlier in the week.

And in Arkansas, Senator Blanche Lincoln tried to play “gotcha!” on abortion with her Republican challenger U.S. Representative John Boozman, but it was a bit of a dud.

During the debate sponsored by Talk Business and Little Rock television station KLRT, Lincoln asked Boozman why he “voted to protect the rights of fathers who have committed rape or incest against a minor that resulted in a pregnancy to be able to sue the doctor who performed an abortion on that victim.”

“Do you believe that the majority of Arkansans agree with your stance that the rights of rapists take priority over the rights of women who they’ve assaulted?” she asked.

Boozman said he would support a ban on abortion but not in cases involving rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother. He asked Lincoln to name the bill she was talking about.

“I don’t have the number with me, but we’ve got it in our research and I’ll be glad to provide it to you,” Lincoln said.

“It would be nice if you’re going to make accusations that you bring the facts with you,” Boozman said.

Lincoln’s campaign said later that Boozman voted “no” in a procedural vote on the bill, HR 748.

Boozman campaign spokesman Patrick Creamer said Boozman voted against what he saw as a tactic by a pro-choice legislator to kill HR 748. Creamer said the bill was primarily concerned with the transportation of a minor across state lines for the purpose of having an abortion.

“Blanche Lincoln’s efforts to paint Congressman Boozman as an advocate of ‘rapists’ rights’ are preposterous and shameful,” he said.

Finally, from Politico, a brief look into the Faith and Freedom Coalition rally in Washington, DC, this weekend, where two anti-abortion House hopefuls stated their true focus of running for office:

Indiana state Rep. Jackie Walorski said:

 “The reason I came today is to stand with you and celebrate the issues of life,” Walorski said. “Thank God that Teresa and I and people like us around this country, are going to be swept into this Congress — not ashamed of being pro-life, not ashamed of being believers, and not ashamed of who we are, and not ashamed of saying we are redefining this country,” she said to loud and sustained clapping.

Minnesota law professor Teresa Collett, who is challenging Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), said

her frustration with national leadership grew after watching government rescues for the auto and financial industries. But she said she only decided to run for Congress once she realized that health care reform could include funding for abortions.

“It wasn’t until the health care bill, when they decided to require my husband my children and myself to pay for abortion that I decided that this could not be tolerated,” she said.

Mini-Roundup: Anti-choice extremist Randall Terry brought his mega-phone to a six-person “anti-Muslim” protest near the White House on Saturday, during which self-proclaimed Tea Party leader Andrew Beacham ripped out pages of the Koran.

Sep 10

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