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September 16, 2016 / Press Releases

What you need to know about Trump’s new anti-choice coalition leader

September 16, 2016

Just a few days after Donald Trump tried to get right with women by launching a laughable ‘women’s empowerment tour,’ he’s rolling out leadership for an entire anti-choice coalition dedicated to rolling back women’s rights. This morning Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the extreme anti-choice Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, was named chair of Donald Trump’s Anti-Choice Coalition.

Marjorie Dannenfelser has built her career on disempowering women and building an organization to end women’s access to abortion. Here’s what you need to know about her extreme beliefs, and SBA List’s dangerous agenda:

  • SBA List supports candidates who would imprison a woman or charge her and her doctor with murder for providing abortion services.
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser has said that an exception for rape is “abominable” and supports legislation without exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the woman.
  • SBA List opposes contraception, and suggests it alters human behavior.
  • SBA List is funded by a designated hate group, and extreme anti-LGBT individuals.
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser is on the board of a “virulently anti-gay” organization that opposes LGBT adoption rights.

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, responded to this morning’s announcement.

“Donald Trump has been doing somersaults this week to try and appeal to women by hiding his lifetime of misogyny and campaign promises to punish a woman who has an abortion. But in the same week he rolls out a sexist paid leave proposal and a women’s empowerment tour, he’s announces Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser will lead his extreme anti-choice coalition, and gains an endorsement from Troy Newman, an extreme anti-choice advocate who endorsed the murder of abortion providers,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Let’s be clear: just like Donald Trump, Susan B. Anthony List hasn’t done a thing to empower women and everything to advance an extreme agenda that aims to entirely end women’s access to abortion in America, often even for survivors of rape, incest, and women whose health is endangered. Between his support from the dangerously similar anti-choice and alt-right movements, and his record of misogyny, we know Donald Trump will be a disaster for women in the White House.”

SBA List supports candidates who would imprison a woman or charge her and her doctor with murder for an abortion:

SBA List Donated Over $10,000 To Vicky Hartzler’s 2012 Campaign, And $6,000 To Her 2014 Campaign. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Susan B. Anthony List’s PAC donated $10,015 to Vicky Hartzler’s 2012 House campaign, and $6000 to her 2014 campaign. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/21/16]

Hartzler Supported A Bill That Would Have Allowed Women To Be Charged With Murder For An Abortion. According to Right Wing Watch, “A staunch anti-choice activist, Hartzler supported legislation [as a Missouri state representative] which ‘would have allowed for prosecutors to charge women who obtained late-term abortions with murder’ and ‘also have permitted second-degree murder charges to be filed against doctors who performed such procedures.’ She was also the chief sponsor of a bill that would pressure women seeking an abortion to view their sonograms. Throughout her career in the State House, she consistently received perfect ratings from the right-wing Missouri Family Network.” [Right Wing Watch, 11/12/10]

SBA List Directly Donated $10,000 To Rick Berg’s Campaign, And Bundled Over $38,000 Total. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Susan B. Anthony List’s PAC donated $10,000 to Rick Berg’s 2012 Senate campaign, and gave his campaign $38,301 total in bundled contributions. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/21/16]

Berg Supported A Bill That Imprison Women, Including Rape Victims, For an Abortion, and Would Punish Abortion Doctors With Life In Prison. According to a BuzzFeed article titled “North Dakota Senate Candidate Voted To Make Abortion In Case Of Rape, Incest, Carry Life Sentence,” “Rick Berg, North Dakota’s at-large congressman and a candidate for Senate, voted to criminalize abortion in the state as a Class AA felony, including in the case of rape or incest. Berg, who is running against former Democratic Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, voted with a minority of the state house in 2007 to make terminating a pregnancy illegal, in a bill that only made exception for when the life of the mother is endangered.” According to the bill’s text, any woman who “solicits” an abortion would be guilty of a “Class C felony,” which in North Dakota carries up to five years in prison. [BuzzFeed, 9/3/12, Criminal Defense Lawyer, accessed 9/16/16]

Marjorie Dannenfelser has said that an exception for rape is “abominable” and supports legislation without exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother:

SBA List President: Rape Exceptions To Abortion Bans Are “Abominable” And “Completely Intellectually Dishonest.” SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said at a press conference that she supported a 20-week ban on abortions, despite the fact that it included an exception for victims of rape, because that was politically expedient: “‘I agree that the rape exception is abominable,’ she told LifeSiteNews. ‘I also know that with it, we were able to move forward … it’s a place where the country is, and it’s a place that we can actually get the legislation through.” Later, she told a conservative talk radio show “that she found the rape exception ‘regrettable,’ ‘just wrong’ and ‘completely intellectually dishonest,’ but that politicians sometimes require them for ‘political’ reasons.” [LifeSiteNews.com, 6/11/15; Right Wing Watch, 6/12/15]

SBA List Supports Policies That Have “No Exceptions” To Protect Women’s Health, That Could End Stem Cell Research, And That Would Block Life-Saving Care For Military And Low-Income Women. These policies include a national 20-week ban on abortion with no exceptions for health of the woman, a Personhood amendment, and a bill defunding Planned Parenthood, which would have dismantled the Affordable Care Act. [SBA List, accessed 4/22/16]

SBA List Defended Richard Mourdock After He Said Pregnancy From Rape Is “Something God Intended To Happen.” According to USA Today, “Asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest, Mourdock said during Tuesday’s debate, ‘I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.’ […] The Susan B. Anthony List, a conservative group that opposes abortion rights, restated its support for Mourdock and stressed its own ad campaign highlighting Donnelly’s abortion record. ‘Richard Mourdock said that life is always a gift from God, and we couldn’t agree more,’ said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the SBA List.” [USA Today, 10/24/12]

SBA List opposes contraception, and suggests it alters human behavior:

SBA List Even Opposes Contraception Because It Changes “Human Behavior”; Suggest “Contraception And Family Planning” Are Responsible For Increasing Number Of Abortions. At the 2011 Faith and Freedom Conference, Marjorie Dannenfelser spoke on a panel and said, “Every year that contraception and family planning increases, the abortion rate also increases in direct proportion – not inverse. This is an undeniable fact. It happens every year.” Later, during an interview, she suggested contraception alters human behavior:

DANNENFELSER: There are deeper causes than just the funding. The causes are [contraception’s] effect on human behavior and with increased levels of contraception, increased availability. The argument has been you cut Planned Parenthood, you increase the abortion rate when in reality you increase all that exponentially and human behavior starts to change…There are a lot of underlying reasons why there is that relationship. The bottom line is that to lose the connection between sex and having children leads to problems. [Dannenfelser Remarks via Faith In Public Life, 6/8/11]

SBA List is funded by a designated hate group, and extreme anti-LGBT individuals:

SBA List Received $1,250 From The Family Research Council In 2012. Family Research Council gave Susan B. Anthony List a $1,250 grant in 2012. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/22/16]

The Family Research Council Has Been Designated A Hate Group By The Southern Poverty Law Center For Their Anti-LGBT Equality Work. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as ‘the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,’ but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.” [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 4/22/16]

SBA List And Their PAC, Women Speak Out, Have Received Over $650,000 From The Chiaroscuro Foundation And Chiaroscuro Foundation’s Sean Fieler. In 2011, Chiaroscuro Foundation gave Susan B. Anthony List a $150,000 grant, while in 2012, Women Speak Out PAC received $75,000 from Sean Fieler, the founder of the Chiaroscuro Foundation and founder of the hedge fund Equinox Partners. In 2014, Fieler and his wife gave $393,746. In 2016, Fieler has already donated $75,000 to Women Speak Out PAC. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/22/16; accessed 4/22/16]

Fieler: There Is “A Very Harmful Myth About The Gay Lifestyle. It Suggests That Gay Relationships Lend Themselves To Monogamy, Stability, Health And Parenting In The Same Way Heterosexual Relationships Do. That’s Not True.” [New York Times, 1/29/13]

Marjorie Dannenfelser is on the board of a “virulently anti-gay” organization that opposes LGBT adoption rights:

Dannenfelser Serves On The Board Of The Anti-LGBT Alliance Defending Freedom. From her bio: “She serves on the boards of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Constituting Culture Foundation and Chosen Families, a ministry to families who have special needs children. Prior to launching the Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie served on Capitol Hill as staff director of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus. Prior to her work on Capitol Hill, she worked at the Heritage Foundation.” [SBA-List.org, accessed 4/18/16]

ADF Is “The Largest Legal Force Of The Religious Right,” And “Virulently Anti-Gay.” The New York Times called ADF, which attempted to legally stop marriage equality, “the largest legal force of the religious right,” while the Southern Poverty Law Center described the group as “virulently anti-gay.” [New York Times, 5/12/14; SPLC.org, 2/27/13]

ADF “Has Battled Adoption Rights And Fostering Of Children For Gay Parents.” [SPLC.org, 10/21/15]


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