House to Vote on Bill That Would Limit Pro-Life Political Speech
- House to Vote on Bill That Would Limit Pro-Life Political
Source: Pro-Life Infonet; February 11, 2002
Washington, DC -- The U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote
Wednesday on the Shays-Meehan campaign finance "reform" legislation. This
legislation causes pro-life groups great concern.
Under the guise of campaign finance "reform," the Shays-Meehan bill would
actually place severe restrictions on the rights of any citizens group,
such as pro-life organizations, to communicate with the public about
important political issues.
Several sections of the Shays-Meehan bill would prevent pro-life and
citizens groups from running TV or radio commercials that mention the name
of a federally elected official 30 days before the primary election and 60
days prior to the general election. For example, if a pro-life group ran
an advertisement during that time period asking citizens to call and
encourage a specific member of Congress to vote for a ban on partial-birth
abortions, Shays-Meehan would prohibit the group from doing so.
Moreover, another section of the Shays-Meehan bill would prohibit pro-life
groups year-round from running a commercial of any kind that may be
construed, under very vague notions, as an "endorsement." For example,
pro-life groups would not be able to run a commercial following a ban on
partial-birth abortions thanking a specific Congressman for voting for it
and saying he is pro-life. Shays-Meehan would ban such issue ads even
though they pertain to legislation rather than an election.
There are other examples of problems in Shays-Meehan according to numerous
pro-life organizations opposing the bill, but these alone constitute a
large enough threat to the constitutionally protected First Amendment
rights to political free speech enjoyed by pro-life and other citizens
groups nationwide that they are urging strong opposition to the bill.
ACTION: Please take a minute and call your member of Congress or fax a
letter to their attention urging opposition to the Shays-Meehan bill. Any
member of Congress may be reached by calling the capitol switchboard at
202-224-3121. You can also find your member's web site with their specific
contact information by going to http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html
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