McMorris Rodgers to Chair Anti-Choice Youth Group

By Chris Kissel June 5, 2009

An anti-choice nonprofit announced this week that they'd named Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA,5) honorary chair of a new group organized to train young women as pro-life advocates. Called the "Young Leaders Board," the group, according to the Christian NewsWire, is an effort on behalf of a PAC called the Susan B. Anthony List, which claims 145,000 members and focuses on pushing legislation and training pro-life activists.

The new group is funded primarily by ex-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), a fundamentalist Christian who, as a member of Congress, was the original sponsor of a nationwide constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. (Musgrave's also notorious in my native Colorado for being a relentless crusader for abstinence-only education and a champion of Colorado's own ban on gay marriage).

After losing her last bid for Congress, Musgrave became outreach director for the Susan B. Anthony List. Musgrave drained her 2008 campaign fund to provide the Youth Leaders Board with $50,000 in initial donations.

A spokesperson for the Susan B. Anthony List didn't respond to questions about the group or Rep. McMorris Rodgers' responsibilities.

McMorris Rodgers, who made her web savvy her trademark this year, doing outreach for the Republican Party as the vice-chairwoman of the caucus, says she'll lend her social networking focus to Musgrave's group. "Through the use of new media and other communications tools, I look forward to helping the SBA List's Young Leaders Board reach out to young, pro-life women," said McMorris Rodgers in a statement.

McMorris Rodgers' office said only that the Congresswoman has worked with the anti-choice nonprofit before, and didn't go into detail about what that work entailed.

"The Congresswoman believes this is another avenue to reach out to young, pro-life women and encourage them to get involved in the political process," McMorris Rodgers spokesman Destry Henderson told PubliCola in an email. "The Congresswoman was flattered to have been asked to chair this exciting effort."

McMorris has been supported by anti-choice PACs and told the Weekly Standard that her advocacy for families dealing with down syndrome propelled her toward a more pro-life stance. She was also one of several co-sponsors on a bill in 2007 that would have granted fetuses full rights under the 14th Amendment.

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