Family Research Council Abuses Facts in Partisan Ads

Posted April 20, 2010

Catholics United calls on the FRC to honor truth and suspend misleading campaign

The social justice group Catholics United today expressed its grave disappointment over a misleading advertising campaign by the political wing of the Family Research Council. The campaign is explicitly aimed at defeating Democratic members of Congress who supported health care reform. Despite its claim to be a non-partisan organization which bases its action on Christian principles, two of the Council's "FRC Action PAC" targets are Democrats who voted AGAINST final passage of health care reform, but who also happen to be in tight races for re-election.

Yesterday's announcement that the Family Research Council will spend $500,000 on the upcoming elections also falsely claims that the legislation "uses taxpayer funds for abortion on demand." In response, Catholics United is calling on Family Research Council president Tony Perkins to swear on the Bible that he believes he is doing God's will by working to defeat these candidates with dishonest advertisements.

"The Family Research Council's campaign appears to be nothing more than a shameless attempt to use the abortion issue as a political tactic aimed at benefiting the Republican Party," said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. "The new health care law ought to have wholehearted support from pro-life Americans. In addition to strict prohibitions against federal funding of abortion, it guarantees historic benefits for pregnant women and children, including pre- and neo-natal care. These are unmitigated victories that will certainly lower the abortion rate. If Tony Perkins and his staff really believe they are doing God's will by working to defeat Democrats, they should be willing to publicly swear so on the Bible. Unless they can proclaim before God that this campaign has honest and pure intent, they should immediately stop misleading their members and the public-at-large."

"Our nation faces unprecedented economic challenges which require all Americans to come together and work for practical solutions," said Korzen. "To mislead voters in order to benefit a political ideology in this climate is morally reprehensible. It's time for Perkins and his allies to put their money where their mouths are: are they really concerned about reducing abortion, or are they using the unborn as pawns in political game?"

In the lead-up to the health care reform vote, the Family Research Council worked closely with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to defeat the legislation. Yesterday's announcement coincided with the National Republican Congressional Committee's (NRCC) launch of a new Web site attacking 15 House Democrats for their support of health care reform.

Before the vote, Catholics United ran "Health care reform is pro-life" ads in 4 congressional districts whose representatives are now being targeted by the Family Research Council and the NRCC: Chris Carney (PA-10), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03), Steve Driehaus (OH-01) and Tom Perriello (VA-05). After the vote, Catholics United ran thank-you ads in the districts of 3 of the members of Congress who voted for health care reform who are also being targeted by the FRC: John Boccieri (OH-16), Chris Carney (PA-10) and Tom Perriello (VA-05).

Below is a list of the Family Research Council's 20 Democratic House targets, including Representatives Glen Nye (VA-02) and Walt Minnick (ID-01) - both of whom voted against final passage of health care reform.

Chris Carney (PA-10)
John Boccieri (OH-16)
Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03)
Steve Driehaus (OH-01))
Gabriel Giffords (AZ-02)
Baron Hill (IN-09)
Paul Kanjorski (PA-11)
Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15)
Ron Klein (FL-22)
Betsy Markey (CO-04)
Walt Minnick (ID-01)
Alan Mollohan (WV-01)
Glen Nye (VA-02)
Tom Perriello (VA-05)
Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL)
Carol Shea Porter (NH-01)
Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23)
John Spratt (SC-05)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Alice Titus (NV-03)

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