(WOMENSENEWS)–A financial link has been established between the white supremacist whose writings were cited by accused murderer Dylann Roof of nine in a Charleston, S.C. church, and anti-choice Republican political leaders.
The Guardian reported June 22 that the leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens, Earl Holt III, has donated $65,000 to the campaigns of leading Republicans, all of whom are also actively anti-choice. The donations indicate at least who Holt believes reflect his beliefs.
Among the beneficiaries are Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul who are running for the upcoming presidency, according to records. The candidates have indicated they will reject the funds now that the contributions have been made public.
Holt’s council issued a statement June 21 saying: "We utterly condemn Roof’s despicable killings, but they do not detract from the legitimacy of some of the positions he has expressed."
The GOP’s presidential candidates are not alone in receiving funds from Holt. Donation records also show that Holt has also given money to current and former Republican members of Congress such as Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, former Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Representative Steve King of Iowa and former Representative Todd Akin of Missouri.
The Council of Conservative Citizens is regarded by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white supremacist extremist organization that opposes "race mixing" as a religious affront and that vilifies blacks as an inferior race, the New York Times reported.
- Rick Santorum: He is a staunch opponent to abortion under any circumstances, even in cases of rape or incest. He even suggested that physicians who provide abortions to such victims should be criminally charged. In 2012, Santorum suggested to rape victims who get pregnant to "make the best out a bad situation." ($1,500 from Holt)
- Ted Cruz: On January 22, 2013, Cruz used his Facebook page to call Roe v. Wade a "dark anniversary" and wrote "no right is more precious and fundamental than the right to life." Cruz has also supported bans on taxpayer money funding for abortions and a Texas law that would require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, which was ruled unconstitutional and is now being appealed. Cruz also opposes the coverage of contraception included in health insurance plans. In 2013, Cruz said that Obamacare was forcing Christian companies like Hobby Lobby to provide "abortifacients" to employees, a reference to Plan B. ($8,500 from Holt)
- Rand Paul: While the 2016 GOP contender has repeatedy said we "have to figure out when we agree life begins," he introduced a bill, S.583, into the Senate in 2013. Titled the "Life at Conception Act," the legislation was also called "fetal personhood bill," would define a person as a fertilized egg and, according to a press release from Paul’s office, "would implement equal protection under the 14th Amendment for the right to life of each born and unborn human." ($1,200 from Holt)
- Michele Bachmann: While she was running for presidency, Bachmann proposed in July 2011 a bill to require women in the early stages of pregnancy to have an ultrasound procedure before they could consent to having an abortion. The "Heartbeat Informed Consent Act" required doctors to make the fetal heartbeat visible and audible to the woman prior to the abortion procedure and to describe the ultrasound image to her in detail, even if she prefers not to listen. ($3,500 from Holt)
- Todd Akin: While he was running for a seat of senator in Missouri, Akin made an infamous remark explaining that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy. "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said. After facing a widespread outcry even from his party’s members, he apologized before taking back his apology. In his book released in 2014. Akin also supports the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which would ban federal funding of abortion except in certain instances, such as in the case of rape.
- Steve King: While members of the GOP party called for Akin to step down after his remarks on rape and abortion, Rep. King came to his defense. King said he hadn’t heard of instances in which young victims of statutory rape or incest become pregnant. He eventually said his comments were taken out of context. Like Akin, King also supports "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." ($2,000 from Holt)
- Jeff Flake: The senator from Arizona is opposed to abortion but has supported exceptions in abortion laws for rape, incest and the mother’s health. He co-sponsored with Todd Akin several abortion measures including the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act," which would have blocked federal family-planning assistance money from going to any entity that provided abortions, with exceptions made for "an act of rape or an act of incest against a minor" or when the woman’s life was in danger. He also co-sponsored the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which passed the House but was never voted on in the Senate. ($1,000 from Holt)
- Rob Portman: The Ohio Senator supports measures that make it harder for minors to seek an abortion without their parents’ consent. Portman proposed making it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion if it would circumvent a state law requiring parental involvement. Portman is also a co-sponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy with limited exceptions.
All the Republicans listed as beneficiaries of donations from the white supremacist group have an anti-choice agenda:
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