This week, Rep. Doug Collins (R- Gainesville) issued an e-newsletter assaulting Ninth District Opponent Martha Zoller’s pro-life position. The newsletter has a link to an 11 second video clip from the February 10th, 2011 CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference). In the clip, Zoller says,
“I don’t think that abortion should be illegal. But, I think the way we change people’s minds on life issues is not with legislation.”
Further, Collins states that voters will never have to worry about where he stands on abortion, adding he vows to stand behind the same convictions he has had his whole life.
The accusation cuts deep, and is potentially incriminating due to Zoller’s host of pro-life endorsements, one of which is Georgia Right to Life.
Striking back, the Zoller campaign condemned Collins’ accusation, asserting Zoller’s pro-life position. In an email to FYN this week, Zoller campaign manager Ryan Mahoney called the video clip manufactured, designed to mislead voters and taken out of context.
“If they had shown the full statement,”
“viewers would have understood Martha’s point that the real victory for the pro-life movement comes in convincing the hearts and minds of people not just in legislation. This view is shared by many pro life organizations such as Focus on the Family.”
Also, he highlights that Zoller was endorsed by Georgia Right to Life before Collins. The reason, says Mahoney, is
“Because Doug’s legislative endorsement was suspended by Georgia Right to Life due to the fact that he was killing pro life legislation in a House Committee at the direction of leadership. Only after Doug decided to run for Congress did he miraculously change his mind and support pro life legislation.”
However, Mahoney did not give any examples of Collins killing pro life legislation in the House Committee. He also accused Collins of selling out conservative values at the State Capitol when the pressure is on. The Zoller Campaign, he said, will further address Collins accusation in the future. Conversely, though, in this same newsletter, Collins states he signed the conference report and voted in favor of HB 954, also called the Fetal Pain Bill, which prevents abortions after 20 weeks. Governor Nathan Deal signed this bill this morning; the bill is effective January first.
In his newsletter, Collins did not mention the views of his other opponents on this issue.