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Defending Life in Louisiana

Republican Cassidy has 100 percent pro-life record

Bill Cassidy
Bill Cassidy / AP
• October 20, 2014 1:30 pm

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A Virginia-based non-profit is attempting to fundraise off of a bizarre accusation that Louisiana Senate hopeful Bill Cassidy is not pro-life.

The National Pro-Life Alliance is claiming that Cassidy, a Republican congressman, may not be a committed opponent of taxpayer-funded abortion because he did not fill out the group’s candidate survey.

"Two of your frontrunner candidates for U.S. Senate, Republican Bill Cassidy and incumbent Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu, have not yet responded," the group said in a Friday email blast. "In the case of Mary Landrieu, that is not surprising, given her pro-abortion voting record and what seems to be the Democrat Party’s pro-abortion litmus test. But for any Republican you would think that taking a strong pro-life stand would be a no-brainer."

The email made no mention of Cassidy’s 100 percent pro-life record as a congressman and is a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, but did include a fundraising appeal.

"If at all possible, after contacting your candidates, I hope you will consider chipping in with a special contribution to expand the work of the National Pro-Life Alliance so we can alert more pro-life voters," the emails said.

National and local pro-life groups are rallying to Cassidy’s defense. Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of the Susan B. Anthony List, the largest pro-life PAC in the country, called the email "shameless, divisive, and untrue" in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon.

"I have yet to see anything constructive or helpful come from that email. [The Alliance’s] general approach is to throw bombs. Bombs only divide," she said. "Bill Cassidy can go on the offense without being offensive. He can speak as a father and a grandfather about something that’s difficult to talk about."

The Alliance’s email heaped praise on Tea Party challenger and military veteran Rob Maness, urging recipients to "Contact Republican candidate Rob Maness and thank him for his 100% pro-life response." Pro-lifers in Louisiana worry that the group’s action will end up helping Landrieu by splitting Cassidy’s support. Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, said that the Alliance could hurt the pro-life cause.

"The pro-life cause cannot succeed long-term if Louisiana continues to send a pro-abortion senator to Washington. This election will determine the future of Supreme Court Justices and common-sense pro-life legislation," he said. "Groups that claim that Congressman Cassidy is not pro-life clearly have not looked at his voting record, both in Congress and the State Senate. He has cast all his votes in support of unborn children and their mothers."

The Alliance did not respond to request for comment.

Dannenfelser pointed to Cassidy’s handling of his teenage daughter’s own pregnancy as true leadership in advancing the pro-life position.

"Earlier this year, Laura and I learned we will become grandparents this summer. Our children have been the greatest blessing of our lives and we welcome our grandchild as a joyous addition to our family. Our daughter now faces a more challenging future than her peers. She has our unconditional love and support," he said in a statement.

Dannenfelser called the response "graceful" and necessary when the media paints pro-life politicians as out of touch males in a "women’s issue."

"His announcement was pretty courageous. That’s leading. He listens to people and that’s what makes him a superstar for the pro-life cause," she said.

Susan B. Anthony List has committed more than $1 million to the race and says that it is a "top priority," given Mary Landrieu’s pro-abortion track record over nearly two decades in the Senate. She has a 100 percent approval rating from NARAL, a radical pro-abortion group that supports taxpayer funded abortion and opposes parental consent laws and limits on late term abortions of viable babies, as well as partial birth abortion.

"It is a top priority because we’re after the strong life-affirming model of leadership. She is the antithesis of that. We think a central reason she will lose is her 100 percent pro-abortion record," Dannenfelser said.

Cassidy has expanded his lead in October and now leads Landrieu by 5 points, according to a Real Clear Politics poll average.