Anti-abortion group seeks to block Ohio false speech law

A national anti-abortion-rights group is suing to block an Ohio law barring false speech in political campaigns after the Supreme Court gave a green light to litigation this week.

The Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, which works to elect candidates who oppose abortion rights, filed for a preliminary injunction against the Ohio statute on Friday.

The organization is seeking to influence the 2014 midterm elections by arguing that Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) allowed taxpayer funding for abortion when she voted for ObamaCare.

The SBA List fears that the Ohio speech law will prevent its efforts from moving forward this year as a result.

"SBA List must be permitted to continue educating voters — both in Ohio as well as in other battleground states," said president Marjorie Dannenfelser, in a statement. "If granted, this injunction will allow us continue our efforts to inform voters without fear of prosecution."

The legal challenge will move forward after the Supreme Court ruled Monday that the SBA List has standing to sue.

That case arose during the 2010 election cycle after the SBA List sought to accuse former Rep. Steven Driehaus (D-Ohio) of supporting "taxpayer-funded abortion" with his vote for ObamaCare.

In response, Driehaus filed a complaint against the group. While the case never received a ruling from the Ohio Election Commission, it prompted the SBA List to challenge the statute for the first time.

Abortion-rights supporters say that public funding for the procedures is currently prohibited by federal law. They also note that ObamaCare requires insurers to segregate funds for abortion coverage under a special set of rules.

Groups like the SBA List argue that these rules are immaterial and that the Affordable Care Act makes direct appropriations to programs that fund abortion.

Kaptur is considered safe in her Ohio district.

—This post was updated at 4:31 p.m.