This article originally appeared on CQPolitics.com on November 2, 2010.
Abortion Activism May Increase
By Ryan Beckwith
Abortion could get more play in Congress if Republicans gain seats tonight.
Activists on both sides of the debate are watching elections carefully, and they anticipate being much more active over the next year.
Laurie Rubiner of Planned Parenthood, which operates 840 clinics nationwide, said there is a lot at stake for the group and its members.
“We’ve been able to work closely with the Democratic leadership,” Rubiner said. “Instead of working in partnership with [Rep. John Boehner (R-Ky.)], we’d be working in opposition to him.”
Rubiner said the debate over taxpayer funding for abortions under the health law could come back under Republicans. The group could also take a personal hit.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ohio) has sent out a Dear Colleague letter announcing his plan to stop Planned Parenthood from getting any taxpayer funding, even indirectly through serving Medicaid patients.
On the anti-abortion side, Marilyn Musgrave of Susan B. Anthony List called this election the year of the pro-life woman.
“We’re very hopeful that we’re going to have our first pro-life woman in the Senate,” Musgrave said, citing several races. “Our next goal will be to support pro-life legislation.”
Conservative activists have focused more on fiscal issues than social concerns ahead of elections, but Musgrave argued that the two are related.
“People are quite upset about spending in Washington. The last thing they want is their tax dollars funding abortions,” she said.