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By Sabrina Eaton of The Plain Dealer and Kevin Eckstrom — (RNS) — A Catholic group that backed the health care reform bill will spend $500,000 on ads and organizers for at least four congressional Democrats who are under fire from anti-abortion groups for their support of the bill.
Washington-based Catholics United isn’t backing any Republican members of Congress because none supported the health care reform bill, according to spokesman James Salt.
Salt said Ohio Reps. John Boccieri and Steve Driehaus, Virginia’s Tom Perriello and Pennsylvania’s Kathy Dahlkemper are facing a “coordinated misinformation campaign from a host of self-proclaimed pro-life groups intended to perpetuate the misconception that the health care reform bill passed earlier this year allowed for federal funding of elective abortion.”
The group’s organizers and volunteers will monitor religious right activities in the targeted districts to counter inaccurate attacks. Earlier this year, it placed television ads on Driehaus’ and Boccieri’s behalf. Salt said it plans to do so again.
Catholics United said its effort is a direct response to ads being placed by organizations such as the Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, National Right to Life Committee, as well as national Republican groups.
Separately, the group Democrats for Life of America is launching a website,, to support 16 Democrats who supported the bill. Officials said the group’s new Political Action Committee also hopes to lend financial support.
“These Democrats stood up for pro-life principles during the healthcare debate and delivered needed reforms that protect life at all stages,” said the group’s executive director, Kristen Day. “Now we are standing up for these Whole Life Heroes as they come under false, politically motivated attacks for defending their values.”
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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