By Mike Lillis - 03/14/12 05:33 PM EDT
House Democrats have launched a fundraising campaign based on Mitt Romney's recent attack on Planned Parenthood.
The lawmakers are hoping Romney's recent vow to "get rid" of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest provider of low-income reproductive healthcare services, will alienate independent voters and translate into campaign dollars for the Democrats.
"It's important that national Republicans and their allies like Rush Limbaugh are held accountable for their vile, outrageous, and unceasing attacks on women’s health care," DeGette said.
The Democrats are asking for a $3 donation in an effort to raise roughly $20,000 by the end of the day.
Republicans have long opposed federal funding for Planned Parenthood, arguing that the fungibility of money makes it impossible for the group to segregate the private dollars it receives for abortion services from the federal funds it receives for cancer screenings and other preventive treatments.
Romney on Tuesday told a Missouri reporter that he plans to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood as a way to reduce the deficit.
"Of course you get rid of ObamaCare, that's the easy one, but there are others," he told KSDK.com. "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that."
Democrats are hoping such comments — coming just weeks after Limbaugh called a college woman a "slut" for supporting President Obama's birth-control mandate – will convince voters that the Republicans are clueless when it comes to women's healthcare needs.
Wednesday's donation drive will benefit the Women's Health Accountability Fund, a Democratic group designed, in the words of DeGette, "to expose the truth about Republicans' war on women with an aggressive rapid response operation including ads, on-the-ground organizing and more."
The subject line of the email solicitation held one word: "vile."
Planned Parenthood also went after Romney for his comments this week, releasing a statement saying the GOP front-runner "simply can't be trusted when it comes to women's health."
"When Mitt Romney says he wants to ‘get rid’ of Planned Parenthood, he means getting rid of the preventive health care that three million people a year rely on for cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive care," Dawn Laguens, vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement. "This is dangerous and out of step with what most Americans want."