At first-glance, a mailer Iowa voters are receiving looks like an alert about a deadly influenza or Ebola outbreak in their state.
But the mailer, as BuzzFeed first reported Friday, is actually a letter from the Washington, D.C.-based anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List warning voters about Democratic Senate nominee Bruce Braley, who supports abortion rights.
“ALERT -- CHILDREN IN YOUR AREA ARE VULNERABLE TO A PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT THAT CONTINUES UNCONTROLLED,” reads the outside of the envelope. Inside, the letter opens by arguing that Braley's views represent "potentially life-threatening public health dangers." To justify the claim, the group cites Braley's vote last year against a bill that would have outlawed abortion at 20 weeks after conception, challenging the viability limit established by the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.
The group defended the letter in an email to BuzzFeed, writing that “abortion is a very serious public health risk both for the child whose life is ended and the mother who may suffer health complications" and that "voters deserve to know where their candidates stand on this life and death issue.”
In contrast to Braley, his Republican opponent, Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst, has endorsed a federal bill that would grant full legal rights to fetuses from the moment of fertilization. Medical experts say such legislation would ban all abortions as well as commonly-used forms of birth control.
Braley's campaign, unsurprisingly, took issue with the group's mailer in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post Friday.
"This is a despicable and desperate attempt by state Sen. Joni Ernst's allies to hide her dangerous record on women's health care through the use of crass fear mongering," Braley campaign manager, Sarah Benzing, said. "The real health threat is Ernst's extreme proposals to ban common forms of birth control, criminalize abortions even in the case of rape or incest, and take a woman's personal health care decisions out of her own hands."
Beyond the Susan B. Anthony List's efforts in Iowa, its super PAC, the Women Speak Out PAC, has committed millions of dollars to Senate races in North Carolina, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Read the entire letter from the Susan B. Anthony List at BuzzFeed.
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