by Steven Ertelt
July 30, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocacy groups typically aren’t willing to budge when it comes to opposing even the most modest limitations on abortion. Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, found that out the hard way when she voted for a ban on partial-birth abortions.
When Landrieu first ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996 in a heavily contested race, she enjoyed the support of all the leading pro-abortion groups.
During that initial campaign, the pro-abortion EMILY’s List, the largest political action committee in the nation and one that only supports pro-abortion women for Congressional races, was her biggest donor.
EMILY’s List funneled $102,000 to Landrieu through its donors and gave her $10,000 directly.
But the extreme pro-abortion group cut her off from any further donations in her 2002 bid after she voted for the national ban on partial-birth abortions — a later version of which the Supreme Court upheld in April as constitutional.
Other pro-abortion organizations have also softened their support.
Landrieu campaign donors such as NARAL and NOW reduced their donations amounts when she ran for re-election in 2002 but NOW president Kim Gandy told the New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper that the drop reflects a change in focus and not a change of heart about the Louisiana lawmaker.
"We tend to put our resources into getting new women elected to Congress," Gandy said. "After that, all of the usual sources of contributions that kick in for incumbents take care of them."
Despite the loss of support from pro-abortion groups, Landrieu looks financially strong as she heads towards next-year’s second re-election effort. She raised $2.3 million during the first six months of this year, which is more than her entire 1996 election campaign received.
Part of the increase in fundraising has been because Landrieu has moderated her image since getting elected, not just on other political issues but abortion as well.
While Landrieu still backs abortion, she has supported some limits on it.
From 2005-2006 she received a 50% pro-life voting record from the National Right to Life Committee. The lawmaker upset pro-life advocates by voting to force taxpayers to fund groups that do or promote abortions overseas and to make them pay for embryonic stem cell research.
At the same time, she voted twice for a bill that would uphold parental involvement laws and prohibit someone taking a teenager to another state for a secret abortion without their parents knowing.
Landrieu received a 55 percent rating from the pro-life group for 2003-2004 but was only at 11 percent in years shortly after her first election.
She also helped moderate her image when she was the leading co-sponsor of a complete ban on human cloning with Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback.