Anti-abortion leader brags about 'gaining a lot of strength' under Trump

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Anti-abortion movement leader Marjorie Dannenfelser is 'proud of' the Trump administration for letting her have so much power.

The dark money-fueled anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List is definitely getting what it paid for: access to Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, to help spread its lies.

Last month, the group's leader, Marjorie Dannenfelser, got an Oval Office meeting with both Trump and Mike Pence. After the meeting, Dannenfelser promptly went to the ultra-conservative Washington Times to gush over the meeting, which the Times said "signaled the newfound prominence of her organization in the Trump era."

Or, as Dannenfelser herself put it, "We're at this peak moment in the pro-life movement where we're gathering up all our assets. I want [Trump] to know we're proud of him, supportive of him."

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Dannenfelser also bragged that her anti-abortion movement is "gaining a lot of strength" in the federal circuit courts. That's because Trump has been appointing anti-abortion zealots to the courts since he took office — including his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who Dannenfelser's group aggressively defended in spite of credible sexual assault allegations against him. SBA List was so supportive of Kavanaugh that it paid people to protest at the offices of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to try to get him to vote in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation.

SBA List can afford to pay people to protest because it's raking in so much dark money. In fact, some of that dark money came from the GOP push to confirm Kavanaugh. A single anonymous donor gave $17 million to the Judicial Crisis Network, and that group passed some of that largesse along to SBA List, giving them $75,000. SBA List also got hundreds of thousands of dollars from 45Committee, Inc., a group of anonymous megadonors who backed Trump in the 2016 election.

Combine that with the millions of other dark-money dollars the group has gotten, and you can see why they're ramping up to spend $41 million in the 2020 election cycle. That's a huge leap from the $28 million they spent in 2016. And it will all be spent in service of two goals: reelecting Trump and pushing anti-abortion rhetoric, even though most Americans want to keep abortion legal.