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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI, March 26, 2014 ( – A pro-life group's involvement in the Michigan race for the U.S. Senate is bringing abortion into what had previously been a race focused on the economy, the low popularity of President Obama in the state, and the Affordable Care Act.

On a website highlighting the pro-abortion record of Michigan Rep. Gary Peters, D-MI, the expected party nominee for U.S. Senate, Michigan Right to Life (MRTL) said that Peters “wants to make sure abortion is accessible and cheap for his daughters.” The statement is based on what Peters posted on Facebook on January 22, where he said that “as the father of 2 daughters, I want to make sure that critical health care choices are accessible, affordable, and protected.”

MRTL's statement has garnered criticism from Peters, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and the far-left media outlets Daily Kos and Think Progress. In an appearance last week on MSNBC, Peters said the statement was “absolutely outrageous,” and called it “absolutely unacceptable” that MRTL would “think that women are looking for cheap abortions.” He called upon MRTL to “quit making these kinds of outrageous comments about my teenage daughters.”


On Tuesday, Peters wrote an open letter to his likely GOP opponent, Terry Lynn Land, asking her to join him in not engaging in negative attacks using the children of the candidates. He also joined the DSCC in demanding Land rebuke MRTL for its statement.

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Last week, in a statement to Huffington Post, MRTL Director of Information Pam Sherstad said she wondered “how Rep. Peters would conclude that Right to Life of Michigan has distorted his position on abortion by highlighting his voting record, his Facebook posts and his tweets.” 

Land, who is backed by MRTL, has refrained from speaking on the controversy. She also did not join Peters' call for not using children in the campaign, though she did say that “as a mom, I know that Congressman Peters loves his children, and the rest of his family, every bit as much I love mine. As parents, we all are rightfully protective of our children particularly in a world where technology and social media has opened up our lives in a way that we never could have anticipated even ten years ago.” 

She called upon the campaigns to focus on what “Michigan families deserve.” According to Land, this is “a spirited campaign focused on the issues that will determine the future of all our children, and not these silly sideshows that too often dominate the politics in Washington.”

According to Live Action Communications Director Drew Belsky, Peters' complaints should fall on deaf ears. “Rep. Peters decided to invoke his daughters in peddling taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, and now he presumes to cry foul at being called out on using his own girls as boosters for child-killing,” said Belsky. 

Belsky said Peters' comments were reminiscent of President Obama's support for abortion in 2008. “It seems as though Rep. Peters doesn't want his daughters 'punished with a baby,' as Barack Obama famously put it. Hopefully Michiganders respond forcefully to this alarming sentiment, and defend the steps the Great Lakes State has taken to protect the innocent.”

Peters has long been an abortion supporter, and has strongly opposed a new measure in the state that bans insurers from offering abortion coverage in new insurance plans, including in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. Riders can be added to employer-based insurance for less than 50 cents per month. As part of Peters' record, MRTL points to his opposition to legislation in the House of Representatives that would have prevented sex-selective abortions.