Utah's Eagle Forum, a conservative family value group, Friday criticized Rep. Karen Shepherd, D-Utah, for accepting money from Emily's List and then attempting to exempt Emily's List from campaign reform measures now before the U.S. House.
Emily's List, a political organization that seeks the election of women to Congress, organized the donation, through a process called bundling, of upwards of $80,000 to Shepherd's 1992 campaign. Emily's List seeks donations only for female candidates who agree with them on a number of issues and who are pro-choice. Eagle Forum is a strong opponent of abortion and has been active in Utah in pushing anti-abortion legislation."Why is Karen fighting for special treatment for the pro-abortion Emily's List at the same time that she is voting to use Utah taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortions," said Eagle Forum's Gayle Ruzicka. "Could it be that she feels more loyalty to the pro-abortion lobby than she does to her Utah constituency? Karen misled the people of Utah in the last election. How many times did she begin her statements `I support life,' and this from a co-sponsor of The Freedom of Choice Act."
Shepherd says she's not seeking a special exemption just for Emily's List but does support an exemption for public information groups who get people involved in politics, but which doesn't lobby Congress. "Yes, I got $82,000 from people on Emily's List who read my information, what I stand for and then sent in individual checks made out to me." That's grassroots politics and should be supported, she said. "I've been very open, not hidden anything, all along about my support for (Roe vs. Wade) and my opposition to the Hyde Amendment (which bans federal funding of abortions for the poor)."