WASHINGTON, D.C., December 9, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Susan B. Anthony List has fired back at outgoing U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus’s defamation lawsuit, which charged the pro-life political action committee with “depriving a person of his livelihood.” Driehaus, a self-described pro-life Democrat, lost his re-election effort to Republican Steve Chabot by seven percentage points on November 2, and had come under fire from SBA-List for his health care vote.
Driehaus filed the lawsuit December 2, claiming SBA-List defamed him by saying he voted for taxpayer funded abortion when he voted for the national health care reform law. Driehaus contends the Affordable Care Act actually contains no federal funding of abortion, an assertion that is disputed by major pro-life groups and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had lobbied heavily against the bill.
“A lie is a lie,” reads Driehaus’s complaint filed in federal court. “The First Amendment is not and never has been an invitation to concoct falsehoods aimed at depriving a person of his livelihood.”
“Counter to his claims, the voters of Ohio’s First District are the ones that cost Steve Driehaus his livelihood,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Congressman Steve Driehaus’ problem is not that the Susan B. Anthony List allegedly lied about his vote for taxpayer-funded abortion in the health care bill. It’s that he caved when it counted, took the wrong vote, and paid the price on Election Day.”
Driehaus had originally filed a legal complaint against the Susan B. Anthony List with the Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) on October 6 about their plans to erect several billboards with the message that he voted for taxpayer funded abortion.
Ohio law forbids publishing a “false statement concerning the voting record of a candidate or public official.”
He withdrew the complaint on November 16, giving the appearance that the issue was over.
However, when the OEC granted his request to withdraw the complaint on December 2, Driehaus filed his lawsuit later that day.
The suit was filed soon after a federal judge in Virginia ruled that opponents of the Affordable Care Act did not convincingly demonstrate that the national health care law would fund abortion.
U.S. District Court Judge Norman Moon of the Western District of Virginia ruled that the law “contains strict safeguards at multiple levels to prevent federal funds from being used for abortion services beyond those in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered.”