Susan B. Anthony List endorses ‘longtime pro-life leader’ Wendy Long against Gillibrand

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The Susan B. Anthony List, the influential pro-life organization, offered an early and enthusiastic endorsement for Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long this morning.

“There could not be a more clear contrast between longtime pro-life leader Wendy Long and EMILY’s List poster child Senator [Kirsten] Gillibrand,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the group's president, in a statement.

The endorsement touts Long's recent work as a judicial activist promoting conservative appointments to the federal court, but says her "pro-life activism began on Capitol Hill," where she served as press secretary to two pro-life senators, and says Long was subsequently inspired to pursue a law degree "to better defend pro-life principles," and mentions she studied under professors like the late Victor Rosenblum and Mary Ann Glendon, two pro-life legal scholars.

“From her days as a Hill staffer to her time at Americans United for Life and her work on behalf of Supreme Court Justices who practice judicial restraint, Wendy has constantly been engaged in the fight for adherence to the Constitution and the right to Life laid out in the Declaration of Independence,” Dannenfelser said in the statement. “We look forward to having her back on Capitol Hill and adding to the number of pro-life women in the Senate.”

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Long had previously told me that she believed Roe v. Wade was a "horrible decision from a constitutional law standpoint," and that "if Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, nobody would even notice, because the states are legislating their own laws about abortion, completely independent."

Long said that she was running primarily on economic issues like jobs and the economy, notwithstanding today's endorsement. Long is one of only ten candidates that the group has endorsed so far in the 2012 cycle; the others include eight women and a couple of notable conservative men, like Iowa Republican Steve King.

Long's campaign is hoping that her deep ties to conservative activists can help in the Republican primary against Representative Bob Turner and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, and that those ties might encourage ideological donors to support her with super PAC money against the better-funded campaign of Gillibrand.

There's also a hope that Long, as a woman, can neutralize one of Gillibrand's strengths as a champion of women's issues in the Senate.

In her statement, Dannenfelser echoed Long's earlier criticism of Gillibrand for accusing Republicans of waging a "war on women."

“Wendy understands that the only ‘war on women’ is the one being waged against women of faith and conscience by the Obama administration and their allies in Congress and the abortion lobby. She has boldly called on Senator Gillibrand to end the assault on Life, conscience, and religious liberty.”