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Anti-Abortion Group Targets Obama

by Will Evans
Sep 16, 2008

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Will Evans

A new Illinois-based 527 organization called Born Alive Truth has launched a TV ad attacking Obama on the issue of abortion.

The ad features Gianna Jessen, who was born after a failed abortion and who says, "If Barack Obama had his way, I wouldn't be here." It goes on to criticize Obama for votes he made in the Illinois legislature. Here's the FactCheck.org analysis of the issue.

The 527, formed this year, is led by an Illinois anti-abortion activist, Jill Stanek, who gave congressional testimony in favor of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which President Bush signed in 2002. Also on the group's board is Dennis Cortes, a managing director at the financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald. Cortes heads a small, family-run nonprofit called Current Links in Education, which develops educational materials on American government and the constitution. A third board member is Hadley Arkes, an Amherst College professor known for his work on the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

When Bush signed the Act, he thanked Arkes, Stanek and Jessen by name.

The group's public relations firm has worked for the Republican National Committee and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

The ad will run in Ohio and New Mexico. Read more information on the group, after the jump...

The main donor behind BornAliveTruth is Raymond Ruddy, who runs and funds the Gerard Health Foundation, which gives money to conservative and anti-abortion groups. (Raymond's involvement in Born Alive Truth was first reported by the Associated Press.) Ruddy also spends hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying the federal government on abstinence issues.

When the organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service in June, it stated its purpose as "Informing the public of Barack Obama's support of infanticide."

The group must have contacted a lawyer sometime between then and August, when it amended its purpose statement: "The organization is established to inform the public about issues related to laws concerning infants who are born alive after unsuccessful abortions. Our efforts may relate to the election of candidates for federal, state or local office or the legislative process in a manner that does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a particular candidate."

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