Rep. Mark Critz has spent much of the 2012 staking out a conservative position on abortion rights. But one of the country’s most prominent pro-life groups Wednesday backed his challenger, Republican Keith Rothfus.
“All voters who are concerned with the right to life and with the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family should vote to send Keith Rothfus to the U.S. House, where he can work to advance vital pro-life public policies,” the National Right to Life Committee said in a release.
In western Pa., even a large number of Democrats oppose abortion.
“We’re pro-life and pro-gun,” Critz says in an ad he released Wednesday. It’s the second TV ad where he made that point; the first one made the case that he and Rothfus had the same position on the issue.
Critz took lumps in the Democratic primary for his vote to defund Planned Parenthood, but he supported that funding another during another vote.
He has mixed ratings from interest groups on both sides, according to Project Vote Smart. National Right to Life gave him a 100 percent rating for 2010, but 57 percent for 2011. Planned Parenthood gave him 0 percent in 2010 and 17 percent this session. NARAL Pro-Choice America gave him 20 percent in 2011.
Spokesman Mike Mikus reiterated it in response to the endorsement.
“Mark Critz is proud to be pro-life and has a record in Congress that proves it. While both candidates in this race agree on abortion, there are major differences between the two on Medicare and jobs,” he said.
The difference between It probably comes down to one man: Barack Obama. Pro-life groups deplore the President, and Critz hasn’t done enough to distance himself.
“Congressman Critz continues to support Obamacare, which opens the flow of more taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry and will ration life-saving medical treatments for our seniors,” Rothfus alleged. “This endorsement makes clear the choice this election: a life-long defender of the most vulnerable of our society or Congressman Critz, who has endorsed President Obama for a second term and who has failed in supporting our southwestern Pennsylvania values.”