Along I-10 through Louisiana, there are a number of billboards paid for by the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) portraying Mary Landrieu as a “pro-abortion” liberal. This ad campaign targets 3 southern Democratic senators up for re-election; Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Mark Pryor (D-AR). Despite the fact that this is a complete falsehood, which the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehause, the fact remains that Mary Landrieu is far from liberal and she is certainly not “pro-abortion.” In fact, the term “pro-abortion” is used heavily by the anti-abortion movement as a negative label/counter position to their “pro-life” self label.
The SBA List and others claim that Mary Landrieu has a “100% Pro-Abortion Voting Record since Re-Election in 2008″ and concentrate their focus on her vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as “Obamacare,” stating that it spends taxpayer money on abortions. The group Louisiana 2014 Campaign of the National Right to Life Victory Fund made the following statement:
Our campaign has made the statement, on this website and in advertisements, that Senator Mary Landrieu has a “100% Pro-Abortion Voting Record since Re-Election since 2008″.*
Is this true? Absolutely.
Since Louisiana re-elected Senator Landrieu in 2008, official scorecards from both pro-life and pro-choice groups show that Mary Landrieu’s votes have been 100% pro-abortion. Instead of voting with the majority of Louisianians that consider themselves pro-life**, she consistently sides with organizations, such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood, that lobby for abortion-on-demand. (Source)
There’s just one thing wrong with their claim, and the ad, which is based on the belief that the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid also funds abortion. The problem with their argument is debunked by yet another “pro-life” website that praises the Hyde Amendment which bans federal funding of abortion in most cases.
First passed by Congress in 1976, the Hyde Amendment ensures that abortion is not covered in the comprehensive health care services provided by the federal government through Medicaid. Congress has made some exceptions to the funding ban, which have varied over the years. At present, the federal Medicaid program mandates abortion funding in cases of rape or incest, as well as when a pregnant woman’s life is endangered. (Source)
Ok, so voting to continue to fund Planned Parenthood which is barred from using federal funds to provide abortions (which only account for 3% of their services anyhow) somehow makes Mary Landrieu and others “pro-abortion” in the alternate reality the “pro-life” people live in – never mind the fact that the other services they provide actually reduce the need for abortions and also save women’s lives. Southern Louisiana is heavily Catholic and the attack ad billboards against Landrieu are pretty thick here in Acadiana because they’re targeting the Catholic vote. The hypocrisy lies in the fact that while the Republican Party and many Christians claim to be “pro-life,” they’re anything but. Sure, they love talking about “protecting the unborn” and “sanctity of human life,” but once a child is born, their concern for human life gets dropped quicker than Sean Hannity’s association with Cliven Bundy after the “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro” statement. What’s more, they have almost zero respect or sense of responsibility for human life once it actually becomes a breathing individual needing food, medicine or anything more than “likes” on Facebook.
These “pro-life” voters will scream and complain when money is spent on welfare programs, but have no problems with the trillions of dollars spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They will wail about the “sanctity of life” over a zygote, but then say things like “nuke ’em all” when referring to foreign policy decisions and have zero issue with the fact that innocent people are sitting on death row in prisons across America. There are many well-meaning individuals who actually believe in the idea that life begins at conception, they just happen to believe their responsibility ends at birth.
I am not the biggest fan of Mary Landrieu and I believe that she is one of the best friends of Big Oil, but to call her a radical “pro-abortion” liberal is either utterly disingenuous or illustrative of how completely ignorant one is of national politics. What’s more, to call someone “pro-abortion” because of the fact that they believe that choice should be between a woman and her doctor is just as ridiculous as labeling your movement “pro-life” when it is clear that you’re anything but. Nobody wants to have an abortion, it is the unfortunate choice that some women have to make because they don’t have other options. Yes, some people are careless and irresponsible but should they be forced to raise a child they cannot feed, especially when you have conservatives saying “if you can’t feed them, don’t breed them” and slashing holes in the social safety net every time we turn around?
Dear conservatives: until you’re actually “pro-life,” you can stop making false claims about those of us who support a woman’s right to choose – because nobody disrespects the “sanctity of human life” more than you do.
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