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 BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system 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 KellyFive takeaways from Arizona's audit results Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates Overnight Defense & National Security — Congress begins Afghanistan grilling MORE (D-Ariz.) and Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockTrump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Trump stokes GOP tensions in Georgia The Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP 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 AxneKoch-backed group launches 7-figure ad blitz opposing .5T bill Watchdog: 7 members of Congress allegedly failed to disclose stock trades Business groups create new headache for Pelosi MORE (Iowa), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinWHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles Hoyer tells Israel removal of Iron Dome funding is 'technical postponement' MORE (Mich.), Haley StevensHaley Maria StevensWHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill Katie Hill launches effort to protect Democratic majority in House Biden approval ratings drop in seven key congressional districts: GOP-aligned poll MORE (Mich.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindWisconsin governor seeks to intervene in redistricting case Retail group backs minimum corporate tax, increased IRS enforcement LIVE COVERAGE: House panel launches work on .5T spending package 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.