Exclusive: Conservative group targets vulnerable Democrats over abortion

Exclusive: Conservative group targets vulnerable Democrats over abortion
© Susan B. Anthony List

A conservative anti-abortion group is launching a six-figure ad campaign targeting Democratic senators and House members in battleground states tying them to President BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE's decision to leave a longstanding ban on federal funding for most abortions out of his 2022 budget proposal.

Susan B. Anthony List, a conservative group focused on abortion issues, will spend six figures on digital ads targeting Sens. Mark KellyMark KellyHarris's bad polls trigger Democratic worries Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Poll: Two-thirds of AZ Democratic voters back primary challenge to Sinema over filibuster MORE (D-Ariz.) and Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockHarris's bad polls trigger Democratic worries ObamaCare 2.0 is a big funding deal Kaseya ransomware attack highlights cyber vulnerabilities of small businesses MORE (D-Ga.), who both face reelection in 2022.

The ads also target vulnerable House Democrats, including Reps. Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.), Carolyn Bourdeaux (Ga.), Cindy AxneCindy AxneGrassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Overnight Health Care: Fauci clashes with Paul - again | New York reaches .1B settlement with opioid distributors | Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases MORE (Iowa), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinHouse erupts in anger over Jan. 6 and Trump's role House passes host of bills to strengthen cybersecurity in wake of attacks Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker MORE (Mich.), Haley StevensHaley Maria StevensOvernight Health Care: Fauci clashes with Paul - again | New York reaches .1B settlement with opioid distributors | Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases Abortion rights group endorsing 12 House Democrats ahead of midterms House GOP campaign arm hits vulnerable Democrats on inflation in July 4 ad campaign MORE (Mich.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindBiden's midterm strategies start to come into focus Cotton heads to Iowa to launch 'Veterans to Victory' program Exclusive: Conservative group targets vulnerable Democrats over abortion MORE (Wis.).

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The ads, which were obtained first by The Hill, accuse the lawmakers of aiming to "overturn decades of bipartisan consensus that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for abortions."

"Pro-abortion Democrats seeking to repeal Hyde and force Americans to pay for abortions do so at their own political peril,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. "For decades, the Hyde family of pro-life policies have protected Americans from paying for abortions, with the Hyde Amendment itself saving nearly 2.5 million lives. Time and again the polls show Hyde isn’t just effective, it is popular: a strong majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion and want to humanize our laws."

News of the ad launch comes as Congress prepares to dive into the budgeting process, where Biden's exclusion of the Hyde Amendment will be a major focus for some conservatives in particular. 

The White House's budget proposal does not include the Hyde Amendment, which was first passed in 1976 and has been included in annual spending bills in the decades since. The budget amendment restricts abortion coverage for those receiving Medicare or Medicaid, as well as federal employees and servicewomen.

A January poll from Marist and Knights of Columbus found 77 percent of Americans opposed using taxpayer money to promote abortion overseas, and 58 percent oppose using taxpayer money to fund abortion in the U.S.

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Biden for decades supported the Hyde Amendment while serving as a senator. But he faced criticism over that support while campaigning for president, prompting him to reverse course.

"If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's ZIP code," Biden said in 2019 after coming under fire from other presidential candidates.

Abortion rights advocates applauded Biden for excluding the Hyde Amendment from the White House’s proposed budget, saying the decision will help ensure women in low-income areas have access to the procedure.