In its endorsement letter to Congressman Murphy, the National Right to Life PAC wrote, “We believe that your exemplary pro-life record has earned you the support of all voters who are concerned with the right to life and with the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family.”
The endorsement strengthens Murphy’s case to primary voters in the face of a challenge from Evan Feinberg. For many Republican voters – particularly in conservative southwestern Pa. – the issue is a key litmus test.
Murphy’s critics – including Feinberg – have sought to brand him as an Arlen Specter Republican. But the issue of abortion draws a sharp contrast between the two. Even as a Republican, Specter consistently backed abortion rights. Murphy, on the other hand, has enjoyed steady support from the pro-life community.
“I am committed to upholding the sanctity of life, protecting the rights of the unborn and ensuring that federal tax revenues are never used to pay for abortions,” Murphy said in a statement. “Protecting life is a fundamental core value which I will champion in Congress 100% of the time.”
Update 3:30pm: Reaction from Feinberg
“I’m 100% pro-life and helped write legislation to protect the unborn for pro-life stalwart, Sen. Tom Coburn. The contrast in this race is that my conservative message of limited government, pro-growth policy and honest governance sets me apart from the two big-government liberals in the race.”
The Democratic candidate, Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi, also identifies as pro-life.
Also, fun religious trivia. Murphy’s press release noted that he and wife Nan are active members of St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church. Feinberg is an evangelical Christian.