NARAL Launches 25M Fundraising Campaign to Elect Abortion Advocates

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 10, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NARAL Launches 25M Fundraising Campaign to Elect Abortion Advocates

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 10, 2004

Washington, DC ( — The pro-abortion group NARAL has launched a campaign to raise $25 million to defeat pro-life President George W. Bush and elect pro-abortion candidates to Congress. NARAL has enlisted the support of a handful of governors to help the effort.

NARAL President Kate Michelman says the Choice 2004 Fund will provide "a boost to our aggressive plan to elect a pro-choice President."

The money would be used for advertising, a well as voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts. With changes in the campaign finance rules that make it more difficult for political parties to raise funds, groups like NARAL may find themselves taking in more campaign cash.

Governors Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, Tom Vilsack of Iowa, and Jim Doyle of Wisconsin are lending their support to the effort. They represent some of the key battleground states in the presidential election.

Richardson, who some are saying is a possible running mate selection, said, "When Kate asked me for my support, I said I’d gladly help lead this fundraising effort."

The money will be used in part for advertising that attacks Bush’s pro-life record and backing the pro-abortion candidate, likely Massachusetts senator John Kerry.

"We have a Supreme Court that is no more than two justices away from completely overturning Roe v Wade, if new judges are in the mold of the ones President Bush has picked for lower courts," Michelman said.

She blasted Bush for selecting pro-life judicial nominees, including one who called the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling an "abominable decision."

A spokesman from Bush’s re-election campaign told the Associated Press he was not surprised by the fundraising announcement. Spokesman Scott Stanzel indicated the campaign expected groups like NARAL to "unleash hundreds of millions of dollars for the express purpose of defeating President Bush."

A representative of one pro-life group said she was disappointed by the governors’ endorsements of the fundraising blitz and said pro-life advocates from their states should be too.

"NARAL relies on smears and slander to try to destroy those who love life," Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, told "Any governor that supports this extreme group and its tactics would be demeaning the good people of his or her state."

"Citizens in these states may want to let their governor know that they don’t want their state to be associated with this extreme group that believes in killing children up to the moment of birth, and letting violent criminals off the hook for assaulting a pregnant woman and killing her baby," Wright added.

The partnership with the governors has benefits for both groups.

Michelman can use the hype surrounding the nominee’s selection of a vice-presidential candidate to raise funds and for the governors it is a way to broaden the profiles and develop relations with a core Democratic constituency.

"We have national leaders from important states who are putting their political weight behind this effort," Michelman said. "They understand the importance of the issue in 2004 and the threat we face."

Richardson has been named the chairman of the Democratic convention and was able to secure a $250,000 donation from Emily’s List, another pro-abortion group, to help the party assemble the gathering this summer in Boston.

Combined with Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List, the NARAL money would be a tough obstacle for pro-life advocates.

According the Center for Responsive Politics, a leading campaign finance watchdog group, Planned Parenthood reportedly spent anywhere from $7 to $10 million during the 2000 presidential election on negative advertising blasting Bush’s pro-life position.

Planned Parenthood spent $1.5 million on television ads supporting pro-abortion Vice President Gore during the last two weeks of the election. That amount was slightly more than was spent by the Democratic Party itself — or any other political organization — during that time period.

Planned Parenthood’s 13-state media blitz featured more than 6,100 advertisements.