Abortion issue heats up in battleground districts

The anti-abortion-rights Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List on Wednesday announced the launch of a direct-mail campaign aimed at more than 2.3 million voters in 42 competitive congressional districts across the country.

The mailings target Democratic incumbents who voted for the healthcare reform law. Meanwhile, several of those candidates are challenging anti-abortion-rights groups' tactics and truthfulness.

In Ohio, Rep. Steve Driehaus successfully asked the state elections commission to order that SBA-funded billboard ads saying he "voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion" be taken down because they constitute a "false claim." SBA filed a lawsuit on Monday arguing that the state false-claims law is unconstitutional because it violates free-speech rights.

Next door in Pennsylvania, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper has asked four radio stations to pull an ad saying she voted for "the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortions ever." The ads are funded by Americans United for Life.

"The common factor among this unusually large number of competitive races is a dissatisfaction with the broad overreach of the Obama administration and its congressional allies, especially on the issue of abortion," SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. "Poll after poll shows that Americans do not want their tax dollars funding abortions, yet the Obama administration and its allies in Congress have expanded taxpayer funding of abortion both here and abroad in unprecedented ways."

The SBA ads target the following incumbents:

• In Arizona: Ann Kirkpatrick, Harry Mitchell, Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords;

• In California: Jerry McNerney, Dennis Cardoza and Loretta Sanchez;

• In Colorado: John Salazar;

• In Florida: Allen Boyd, Ron Klein and Suzanne Kosmas;

• In Georgia: Sanford Bishop Jr.;

• In Illinois: Debbie Halvorson, Bill Foster and Phil Hare; 

• In Indiana: Joe Donnelly and Baron Hill;

• In Massachusetts: Barney Frank;

• In Michigan: Mark Schauer;

• In Minnesota: Jim Oberstar;

• In Missouri: Russ Carnahan;

• In North Carolina: Bob Etheridge;

• In New Hampshire: Carol Shea-Porter;

• In New Mexico: Martin Heinrich;

• In Nevada: Dina Titus;

• In New York: Dan Maffei;

• In Ohio: Steve Driehaus, Marcy Kaptur, Betty Sutton and John Boccieri;

• In Pennsylvania: Kathy Dahlkemper, Patrick Murphy, Chris Carney and Paul Kanjorski;

• In South Carolina: John Spratt;

• In Texas: Ciro Rodriguez;

• In Virginia: Gerry Connolly;

• In Washington state: Rick Larsen and Adam Smith;

• In Wisconsin: Ron Kind and Steve Kagen; 

• And in West Virginia, Nick Rahall.