Iowans for Life Denies Being Behind Anti-Gingrich Flyers

Several news outlets are reporting that Iowans for Life distributed a flyer at last night’s Des Moines premiere of the Citizens United film The Gift of Life, describing Newt Gingrich as a “pro-life fraud.”

ABC News reported

But outside a historic auditorium in downtown Des Moines where Gingrich promised to support Congressional action to pass a bill that “defines personhood,” critics of the former House Speaker placed pamphlets on car windshield that attacked Gingrich as a “a pro-life fraud.”

The pamphlets, which were authorized and paid for by the group, Iowans for Life, accused Gingrich of campaigning for “pro-partial birth abortion candidates,” urging “fellow Republicans to drop the pro-life issue because it was too divisive,” and leaving any mention of abortion out of his book, “Winning the Future.”

“Newt Gingrich used his position as Speaker to keep taxpayer dollars flowing to Planned Parenthood, and has publicly stated he supports taxpayer funding for abortions under certain instances,” the leaflets, printed on bright pastel-colored paper read.

But Maggie DeWitte, executive director of Iowans for Life, tells me that her group had nothing to do with the pamphlets. “That is crazy,” she told me, expressing surprise that someone would appropriate her group’s name. “Anyone from Iowa knows Iowans for Life . . . . we’ve been existence since 1972, we aren’t a new organization that people don’t know.”

DeWitte attended the film screening last night, but said she didn’t park in the main lot and didn’t see the flyers. 

DeWitte, who personally is supporting Rick Santorum, said her group isn’t endorsing a candidate in the race.

As to why someone might try to impersonate her group, DeWitte said, “I have no idea,” adding that her group tends to be less political than the other major pro-life group in the state, Iowa Right to Life, and focuses more on educating grassroots activists. “It’s interesting, because we’re not really seen as the political group.”

UPDATE: Via NBC reporter Alexandra Moe on Twitter, a photo of the flyer, which claims to have been authorized by “the Iowans for Life:”

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email