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Choice Wins in Florida; New Dirty Dozen Ad

Saturday, September 4, 2004

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(WOMENSENEWS)--


Cheers

Florida primaries for House and Senate races on Tuesday resulted in four pro-choice female winners. Betty Castor will be running for Senate and Jan Schneider, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Corrine Brown will be vying for House seats come November.

Castor won the Democratic nomination for the seat of retiring Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Graham with 57 percent of the vote. She beat U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch and Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas, leading the race from the beginning with promises of affordable healthcare and prescription drugs, according to The Associated Press.

Castor, a former six-year state Senator, is a member of the Florida Women's Hall of Fame, having been the first woman elected to the Florida cabinet and the first female president of the University of South Florida.

Castor will face Mel Martinez, George W. Bush's former secretary of housing and urban development, who is anti-choice and won the Republican primary this week.

Meanwhile, Jan Schneider won her Democratic primary for Florida's 13th Congressional District on Tuesday. She beat retired Sarasota banker Christine Jennings, C.J. Czaia and Floyd Jay Winters, taking 47 percent of the vote.

Schneider, a Sarasota attorney who is a member of the Sarasota County Commission on the Status of Women, was a strong advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment and believes in the inclusion of birth control and mammograms in health insurance coverage.

She faces Republican U.S. Representative Katherine Harris in November for the seat. This is the second time they will face off; Schneider came within 5 percent of winning it in 2002. Harris received a 100 percent rating from National Right to Life. She is the former Florida Secretary of State and co-chair of Bush's Florida campaign in 2000 who oversaw the controversial Florida recount.

Democratic U.S. Representative Corrine Brown easily beat newcomer Prince Brown in Florida's 3rd Congressional District, winning with 81 percent of the vote. Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz won an uncontested primary for Florida's 20th District.



Jeers

The American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church released their latest in a multi-ad campaign with photographs of pro-choice Catholic public figures this week. The so-called Deadly Dozen ad was featured in several other national newspapers and The Washington Times, a special edition even delivered to the area surrounding the Republican National Convention in New York.

Titled "Wanted for Fraudulently Claiming Catholic Faith," the ad was designed to replicate a wanted poster and identifies 12 figures from both the Republican and Democrat parties. Featured figures include California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York Governor George Pataki, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, California U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi and Maine Senator Susan Collins.

"The defense of innocent human life is not a partisan issue," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League, in a statement.

The ad implores America's Catholic bishops to properly educate these officials to stop supporting abortion and to refuse them Holy Communion until they recant their pro-choice stance.

"The Church's teachings on abortion are very clear," said Brown. "Simply stated, you can't be both Catholic and pro-abortion."

Similar ads have been created controversy. A 1995 campaign by the American Coalition of Life Activists featured 12 "wanted" physicians and health care providers, after a wave of shootings of abortion providers. The ads featured photographs and listed the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the medical personnel. The name and image of one of the featured abortion providers, Dr. Barnett Slepian, was crossed off a poster on a Web site the weekend Slepian was murdered. Other medical personnel on the poster had been assaulted. A San Francisco court ruled that the posters constituted a "true threat" of violence, ordering the anti-abortion group to pay $109 million in damages. However, the order was overturned on appeal.

The release of this latest ad coincided with multiple pro-life counter demonstrations at events surrounding the Republican National Convention.

-- Juhie Bhatia.