Roundup: Do Anti-Choice Endorsements Hold Any Weight?

Robin Marty

Anti-choice groups have been eager to flex their political muscle during the 2010 elections.  This summer, we should be able to learn how effective that muscle really is.

As we enter the height of primary season, candidates cling to any advantage they can grab in order to win their inter party skirmishes.  But a funny thing seems to be occurring: rather than boosting Republican candidates campaigns, endorsements from prominent anti-choice groups seem to be either have no effect, or hurting campaigns instead.

In Georgia two Republican candidates are fighting for to be the party’s nominee for Governor: Karen Handel and Nathan Deal.  However, only Deal has been endorsed by Georgia Right to Life, the state’s leading anti-abortion group.  Handel, on the other hand, has a pretty powerful endorsement as well — that of former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.  From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

At the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead, Palin, the 2008 GOP nominee for vice president, lauded Handel and defended herself from critics questioning why she got involved in the race.

The why, Palin said, is because “it’s epic. It’s historic. The eyes of the nation are on you, Georgia, to see if you get rid of that good old boy network. People are watching what’s going on in Georgia.”

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But is the Georgia Right to Life endorsement a bigger deal than Palin’s?  Some in Georgia obviously think so.  The former president of the group is robocalling voters to tell them he supports Handel as well, and Georgia Right to Life is being adamant about letting people know that this in no way means the group supports her.  From the Examiner:

Many people got phone calls today all across metro-Atlanta (and probably across the state) from the robo phone system from a gentleman by the name of John Fucho intimating that he represented the Georgia Right to Life and that he was personally endorsing Ms. Handel. He was a former President of the organization for only two years 1986 – 1988.

After receiving so many robo calls today, it got kinda hectic; and some people were taking their phones off the hook. When I received this call, I thought how is it that they are endorsing both candidates when they had already indicated they did not endorse Ms. Handel.

Apparently upset at the deception, the Georgia Right to Life organization posted in very huge letters on their web site that they did not endorse Ms. Handel.


GRTL has NOT endorsed Karen Handel!!!

If you received a robo call, it is from a former GRTL President. He was the President in the mid 80s. WE have had not contact with him in the last 25 years. We urge all Georgians to vote for Nathan Deal !!!!!!

Will the Georgia Right to Life endorsement outweigh Palin’s personal one?  We should have the answer to that, soon.  The real question is, could the anti-abortion group’s endorsement actually hurt its preferred candidate, as appears to be the case in Michigan, where Michigan Right to Life endorsements appear to have tanked a few candidates in their primaries.  According to

Fallout from Tuesday’s primaries continues among anti-abortion voters, raising new questions about the ability of Right to Life of Michigan to play political kingmaker.

Its controversial decision to back Attorney General Mike Cox over U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra backfired, as Cox finished a poor third to Ann Arbor venture capitalist Rick Snyder. Snyder is regarded with suspicion by anti-abortion forces, in particular because of his backing of embryonic stem cell research.

The result comes two years after Right to Life poured significant funds into a fight against Michigan’s Proposal 2, the amendment to allow donation of embryos produced in fertility clinics for research. It lost that battle, too, as voters approved it 53 percent to 47 percent.

With the resounding win by Lansing mayor Virg Bernero, who is for abortion rights, over House Speaker Andy Dillon in the Democratic primary, anti-abortion forces now face a less-than-ideal choice at the ballot.

Grand Rapids resident Tom Grego, 73, who considers all abortion “murder,” is unsure he could support Snyder.

“I might have a hard time voting for him. He’s not real strong on the pro-life issue.”

Grego also wonders how big a player Right to Life of Michigan is these days.

“It concerns me. It concerns me about where this country is spiritually.”

Anti-choice groups have been eager to flex their political muscle during the 2010 elections.  This summer, we should be able to learn how effective that muscle really is.

Mini Roundup: New Jersey anti-choice activists are pushing for “choose lifelicense plates.  Perhaps the maternity homes and crisis pregnancy centers are trying to come up with more funding to deal with the unwanted pregnancies that will result from the Governor vetoing family planning funds.

August 9, 2010

Sarah Palin stumps for Karen Handel – NECN

Abbott denies he will change abortion law – The Australian

Man Changes Name To ‘One Nation Under God’ As Anti-Abortion Message – Huffington Post

Filipino Archbishop: Abortion Entails Automatic Excommunication – Lifesite

Pro-Abortion Groups Refuse to Debate Merits of Alaska Parental Notification Vote –

Anti-abortion group appeals for Gov. Christie to allow ‘choose life’ license plate – The Star-Ledger –

Palin, Huckabee swoop in ahead of Ga. runoff – Politico

From abortion to guns to gay marriage and immigration, our nation is ruled by … – StandardNet


New Hampshire Pro-Life Senate Candidate Kelly Ayotte Still Leading in Polls –

Uzbekistan Weekly Roundup – EurasiaNet

Lawmakers’ group bucks call to legalize abortion – Philippine Information Agency

Family planning is a dirty socialist idea – Daily News & Analysis

Family planning programs not being prioritized: Official – Jakarta Post

For Wealthy Chinese, Birth Abroad the Preferred Option – The Epoch Times

In Brief: Cambodia needs more midwives to reduce maternal deaths –

Bristol Palin and future of marriage – CNN

Head And Neck Cancers Increasingly Caused By HPV – CBS 4

Africans’ sexual health at threat from Western campaigners – SOS Children

A Simple Operation Can Cure Tragic Condition in Mothers With Fistula – Voice of America

Teens Spread HIV Message: Get Tested – New Haven Independent

Earlier Puberty: Researchers Trying to Establish the Norm – HULIQ

Domestic Violence Ups Risk of Pregnancy Trauma – MedPage Today

Excessive maternal weight gain increases risk of higher birth weight infants … –

A Key for Opening Stunted Egg Cells to Fertilization – New York Times

County now offering vaccine for papillomavirus to boys – Daily Mail – Charleston

USAID sensitises over 96000 peoples on HIV/AIDS – AngolaPress

AIDS Drugs Flow to the Third World – BusinessWeek

Experimental antiviral drug boceprevir doubles cure rate for hepatitis C – Los Angeles Times

In video shorts, young Ukrainians tell their stories about HIV and AIDS – UNICEF

August 10, 2010

AP-Univision Poll: Young US Hispanics less likely to be Catholic; a divide on … – The Canadian Press

Carney refutes challenger’s attacks on abortion issue – Citizens Voice

Poll: Young Hispanics less likely to be Catholic – The Associated Press

La. Abortion Clinics File Suit To Block State Ultrasound, Malpractice Laws – Medical News Today

Did Right To Life’s endorsement of Mike Cox help Rick Snyder? – The Grand Rapids Press –

Gov. Chris Christie pressured by anti-abortion groups – The State Column

Our View: No fire in the race? – Anchorage Daily News

Carney Comes Back with a Vengance, Comes Out Swinging on Marino Attack –

Copper T Works Best for Emergency Birth Control: Study – TopNews United States

Cal Thomas: Gay marriage decision is judicial vigilantism – Salt Lake Tribune

Family Planning calls for free condoms – Melbourne Community Voice

IUD works for emergency birth control: Study – Montreal Gazette

DepEd chief OK with non-compulsory sex ed – ABS CBN News

Egypt Joins Afghanistan and the United States To Advance Safe Motherhood – ReliefWeb

Hospital policy of withholding food during childbirth coming under scrutiny – Plain Dealer

HIV is a 20th-century disease that needs 21st-century research – Globe and Mail

UNDP says HIV/AIDS still posing development challenges to Zambia – Xinhua

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Freedom of the press is under direct threat by the Trump Administration. Now more than ever, we need evidence-based reporting on health, rights, and justice.

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