Politics
              Abortion rights protesters hold signs as anti-abortion activists march past the Capitol to the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, as they observe the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.  Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators marched through Washington to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to protest the landmark decision that legalized abortion. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Abortion group hires Obama-linked consulting firm to grill pro-lifers at home

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

The pro-abortion organization NARAL Pro-Choice America hired a consulting firm linked to President Barack Obama to conduct extensive video interviews with young pro-life activists in their homes more than a year ago, without informing the pro-life activists that the videos were intended for NARAL’s use.

At least one of the videos was aired this month at NARAL’s Washington dinner introducing the organization’s new president, Ilyse Hogue. The video was presented at the dinner in order to show pro-choice activists the “passion” of pro-lifers on the other side of the issue “in an effort to fire up (NARAL) members.” President Obama also sent a video message to NARAL that was shown at the dinner.

The young pro-life activist featured in the video had no idea that his interview footage would be used by NARAL to rile people up against him.

Pro-life activist Mark Earley Jr., 24, a University of Richmond law student, told The Daily Caller that he was “contacted out of the blue” more than a year ago by representatives of the strategic communications and political consulting firm GMMB, which was hired by NARAL to conduct the interview. The consultants asked Earley to share his views on abortion for a video interview series.

GMMB worked as a “lead strategic firm” for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and also worked on his 2012 re-election bid.

Earley had done some work in the past for the pro-family civic activism organization Family Foundation of Virginia. But at the time he was approached by GMMB, he was merely a Virginia state employee, and not involved in any political work.

“I don’t really know how [GMMB] knew who I was. They wanted to know if I was willing to be interviewed as one part of a series they were doing on millenials’ views on the issue of abortion. They couldn’t tell me who it was for,” Earley said. “They had been doing this thing for a while. I was just one of several people” GMMB interviewed.

“I didn’t know it was for NARAL,” Earley said.

Though Earley did not know how the interview footage would be used, he agreed to participate anyway, citing a desire to share his pro-life viewpoints with whatever audience the interview footage would eventually reach.

Earley explained that about a half dozen GMMB representatives visited his apartment to conduct the interview.

“They came to my apartment in Richmond. Maybe six people from GMMB. And we did a camera interview. They were down at my apartment for half a day just asking me questions,” Earley said.

“They asked me about my thoughts on abortion, about policy, about underlying belief that would lead to certain conclusions. It was pretty comprehensive. It was very long,” Earley said.

At least one segment of the interview focused on the specific details of Earley’s advocacy work.