It is interesting how completely independent legal entities, like the National Right to Life Committee, end up using the exact same messaging in mailers as does the Republican National Committee, the McCain-Palin campaign, and "independent expenditure" organizations, like Jill Stanek’s Born Alive Truth 527. As Sam Stein reports at Huffington Post, NLRC is now using the widely debunked "infanticide" charge in a mailer forwarded to him by readers in Florida.
This latest mailer echoes political misinformation being spread on TV, radio, in mailers, in robo-calls, and online by all these and many more organizations. Sen. McCain raised the issue in the debate giving it the highest possible profile. With all this very consistent messaging on the anti-choice community’s preferred li(n)e of attack, we’ll see if the majority of Americans really do share their narrow values.
What is most interesting is that all these organizations would not engage the larger conversation about all aspects of reproductive health to reduce unintended pregnancies, instead choosing a very narrow line of attack on the "Born Alive" issue, an issue cultivated by the far-right for its extremist and emotional appeal. There are important policy issues to discuss and debate in sexual and reproductive health – it is just odd that this one issue would be chosen by so many "independent" and "uncoordinated" legal entities.
There has been a history of questionable coordination between Republican campaigns, 527s, and the RNC in the past, that once led to a Congressional investigation that was halted by Republicans in 1997 before issuing a complete report.
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As the campaign turns into its final two weeks, it is important that we keep tabs on all the damaging misinformation that is put out on sexual and reproducitve health issues. Please email us with what you see using our submission form or at email@example.com.
While the anti-choice community continues to enjoy the limelight having pushed their preferred line of attack, Rewire remains concerned about the misinformation that they disseminate. It is hard to discuss public policy about sex and reproductive health in a pluralistic democracy when lies and misinformation are so aggressively promoted.
The campaigns will work out their own responses, we are most concerned about the conversation that gets engaged after the election and how best to craft public policy that promotes respect, personal responsibility, and medically accurate information so that all Americans have access to good information about sexual and reproductive health.
Regardless of your views on controversial issues like abortion, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, gay rights, contraception or others, we should at least agree that policies based on lies and misinformation won’t work.
Help us debunk the lies by keeping us informed of what you are seeing and hearing about sexual and reproductive health from all the campaigns. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.