Kellyanne Conway Consulted for Anti-Choice Activists Charged With 15 Felonies

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Kellyanne Conway Consulted for Anti-Choice Activists Charged With 15 Felonies

Ally Boguhn

The revelation of Conway’s association with the Center for Medical Progress comes a week after a California judge issued an arrest warrant for the anti-choice front group's founder.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway consulted for a bevy of anti-choice groups, including the discredited Center for Medical Progress (CMP), recently released financial disclosure forms show.

Conway, a longtime opponent of abortion rights, listed CMP, along with groups including the Susan B. Anthony List, Students for Life of America, Concerned Women for America, and the National Right to Life Committee, as organizations for which she provided “consulting services.”

The revelation of Conway’s association with CMP comes a week after a California judge issued an arrest warrant for the anti-choice front group’s founder, activist David Daleiden, in relation to the release of deceptively edited videos falsely alleging that Planned Parenthood profited from fetal tissue donations. Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of CMP were charged with 15 felonies.

CMP’s discredited videos prompted a Republican-led “witch hunt” into the health-care organization that coincided with an increase in violence against abortion providers.

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The Judicial Crisis Network, a 501(c)(4) organization not required to disclose its donors, was also listed as having paid for Conway’s consulting. The dark money group pledged “to put $10 million into ad campaigns and social media promotion and hiring multiple lobbyists” to pressure U.S. senators into confirming Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a report by the the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Ohio and Michigan affiliates of the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, a dark-money group that spent millions on state and congressional elections in the 2016 election cycle, hired Conway as a consultant.

The disclosures were required for organizations “that paid more than $5,000 in a calendar year for the filer’s services during any year of the reporting period.” Conway was required to file notice of “payments both from employers and from any clients to whom the filer personally provided services.” The White House began providing the financial disclosure forms of administration officials upon request in late March.

Conway’s anti-choice consulting comes as little surprise given the two decades she spent working with many of the same groups through her polling company. When it was announced that Conway would speak during the 2017 March for Life event in Washington, D.C., Kristan Hawkins, president of anti-choice group Students for Life of America, told the New York Times that the Trump administration staffer was “one of us.”

Though Trump’s position on abortion rights has repeatedly shifted, he penned a letter in September 2016 asking anti-choice leaders to join his “pro-life coalition” in exchange for his vow to enact restrictions on reproductive freedoms should he be elected.

Among those who heeded the call was Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who chaired the so-called Select Panel on Infant Lives. The panel was part of a relentless effort to pursue CMP’s discredited allegations—even after GOP legislators in a dozen states and congressional investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing on the behalf of Planned Parenthood.

Blackburn repeatedly relied on documents linked to CMP in her work on the panel, according to reports from Media Matters for America’s Sharon Kann.