In a five-figure ad buy, Senate Democrats are targeting Republicans up for re-election by attacking their support of legislation that would de-fund Planned Parenthood. CNN reports that the ads focus on nine GOP senators who Democrats believe are weak because of their pro-life views. Currently, Republicans have a 54-46 majority in the U.S. Senate but in order to maintain control they have to protect 24 of their seats in the 2016 election.
Specifically, the new ads focus on whether the senators would support a government shutdown over de-funding Planned Parenthood, a strategy that many pro-life politicians and organizations are conflicted over. As LifeNews previously reported, a recent CNN/ORC poll claims that 71 percent of adults believe it is more important for Congress to approve a spending bill to keep the government open than to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
However, a Heritage Foundation poll found that 78 percent of Americans agree that our country should not be funding organizations that sell aborted babies for research. In fact, the poll revealed that the majority of Americans agree with the following statement: “Government should not be in the business of funding organizations that harvest and sell baby parts from aborted children.” Additionally, 72 percent of respondents agreed that “taxpayer dollars would be better spent directed to the more than 13,000 health centers and hospitals providing comprehensive women’s health care.”
One of the lawmakers the ads attack is Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) because Democrats believe they can unseat him in 2016. Sadie Weiner, a spokeswoman for Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said the following in a statement about Sen. Toomey: “As a potential shutdown creeps closer, we will see if Sen. Toomey sticks with his votes to defund Planned Parenthood or if he is so scared about his re-election that he flip-flops in a panic. These ads will highlight that Sen. Toomey and extremists in Congress are playing a dangerous game, and Pennsylvania families deserve better.”
According to the National Right to Life Committee, Sen. Toomey has a 100% pro-life voting record and is also a co-sponsor of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36). CNN reports that the other senators attacked in the ads include Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) and surprisingly, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois).
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In early August, Sen. Kirk was the only Republican senator to vote against de-funding Planned Parenthood’s abortion business. After the vote, the abortion company applauded his vote and said on Facebook that they were proud of him. Sen. Kirk told The Hill that “[i]n other states tissue donation programs should be investigated but in Illinois there is no similar program.” He also joined Senate Democrats in blocking the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act earlier this week.