The National Right to Life Committee has spent about $45,000 sending out mailers backing Senator Scott Brown, even as he supports legalized abortion.
Federal election law prohibits Brown from having any say over mailings sent by a political action committee. The latest expenditure figures were reported over the last several days.
Brown has received endorsements from several groups that oppose legalized abortion, in part because of his opposition to President Obama’s health care law and his support for a measure that would have allowed employers and churches to restrict health coverage for treatments or procedures they find morally objectionable. His vote against Obama’s health care law was unrelated to the abortion issue.
A handful of groups that favor abortion rights support Elizabeth Warren, Brown’s Democratic challenger.
Brown has repeatedly said that he is pro-choice and believes Roe v. Wade should not be overturned. The issue has emerged several times in the election, both in debates and advertisements, as the candidates fight for women’s votes.
“I have votes from everybody,” Brown said at an event on Thursday. “I’m going after every single vote and there are good people on all sides of every issue.”
The new flier shows a picture of a fetus, a baby, and an older woman and reads: “It’s time to take America back...for LIFE!” On the other side of the flier, it lists a comparison between the candidates on issues, including Brown’s opposition to the procedure that opponents call partial birth abortion, and Warren’s support from Emily’s list, which the mailing characterizes as a “radical pro-abortion group.”
David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life, said the group occasionally supports candidates who favor legalized abortion, including Brown in his 2010 election.
“He is pro-choice,” O’Steen said. But “if you look at the two candidates, Elizabeth Warren’s position is very extreme. She can only be characterized as pro-abortion.”
Emily’s List—a political action committee that supports Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights—is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for Warren. The group put out a release Thursday afternoon drawing attention to the new flier from the National Right to Life Committee, asserting in a headline that “Evidence of Scott Brown’s lies arrives in voters mailbox.”
FactCheck.org said last month that Emily’s List was wrong to dispute Brown’s assertion that he supports legalized abortion. Warren has said that she would be a more reliable supporter on women’s reproductive health issues than Brown.
Brown and Warren have signed a pledge designed to prevent outside groups from placing ads on television, radio, and online. But the ad does not cover direct mail, which has flooded voters’ mailboxes in recent days.