Some big names in Florida’s social conservative circles are planning to appear at the Americans United for Life’s 40th Anniversary gala in November. Among those listed to attend the event in Washington, D.C., are Sen. Marco Rubio and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Cliff Sterns, Jeff Miller, and Allen West (all Republicans).
From a recent Americans United press release:
AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted that the anniversary gala would mark the “accumulated pro-life victories AUL has earned through years of public service and the people who made them possible.”
Milestones for AUL include: successfully defending the Hyde Amendment before the U.S. Supreme Court, establishing the intellectual groundwork for Fetal Homicide legislation now passed in 38 states, reducing abortions state by state through cutting-edge model legislation found in Defending Life (a catalogue of 39 pieces of model legislation), leading in the fight against assisted suicide, and testifying for life in state legislatures around the country and in the last two Supreme Court justice confirmation hearings.
Florida lawmakers at both the state and national level have made curbing access to abortion a high priority this year.
Rubio and Ros-Lehtinen introduced a piece of legislation in the Senate and House, respectively, that would require each state to uphold other states’ parental notification before abortion laws. Critics of the legislation have called the legislation unnecessary and “hopelessly complicated.”
Rubio in particular has associated with anti-abortion groups since campaigning for his current seat in the U.S. Senate. Rubio appeared at a policy awards dinner for the Florida Family Policy Council and threw his support behind the group’s “Ignite an Enduring Cultural Transformation” campaign. “Ignite” aims to raise large amounts of cash for “groups [that] intend to pass anti-gay marriage amendments, curtail abortion rights and, in at least one case, ban ‘transgender bathrooms,’” The American Independent reported.
Stearns recently expressed an interest in launching an investigation into Planned Parenthood at the request of Americans United, which wrote a report hoping to have Planned Parenthood defunded. As The American Independent has reported, Americans United called upon Congress to hold an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s finances and practices. While Planned Parenthood has called the report false and “ideologically driven,” Stearns has not ruled out launching an investigation.
West has become a firebrand for his socially conservative views. Emily’s List, a group that aims to elect pro-abortion rights women into public office, singled out West’s reelection campaign for this very reason. The group has endorsed Lois Frankel in her campaign to unseat West in 2012.
Americans United announced that the co-chairs for the gala are Texas Gov. Rick Perry, U. S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions.