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Tamar Hallerman

Doug Collins gets help from anti-abortion group after criticism of recent vote

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From left, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., and Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., and other House Republicans walk through a basement corridor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on the way to a GOP caucus meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, as the 113th Congress comes to an end. With time running short before Congress adjourns, Republicans and Democrats agreed Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama's new immigration policy until the new year. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., left, and then-U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., right, walk through a basement corridor in the U.S. Capitol in 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

One of Doug Collins’ biggest political sore spots in his primary race is his vote for a massive government spending bill in December that didn’t cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.

Collins’ four primary challengers have hammered him constantly for that vote, which took place months after undercover videos that showed officials from the women’s health group candidly discussing the sale of fetal tissue caused an uproar on the right.

The two-term lawmaker, though, is getting a notable boost from the anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List just over a week before his May 24 primary. The organization endorsed his reelected bid Monday.

“Rep. Collins has a pristine pro-life voting record and fully supported the defunding of Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business, through the reconciliation process,” said Marilyn Musgrave, the group’s vice president of Government Affairs.

Collins has been looking to highlight his bona fides on abortion after his competitors have lavished attention on the government spending vote. Indeed, former U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, Collins’ most prominent challenger, has made the incumbent’s vote on that bill a key tenant of his campaign.

“A vote to fund Planned Parenthood is a vote to fund abortion, whether directly or indirectly,” his campaign site states.

In its endorsement of Collins, the Susan B. Anthony List said Broun’s efforts to paint Collins as weak on anti-abortion issues were “deceptive and wrong.” It slammed Broun for a vote against another anti-abortion bill in 2013.

Broun himself has been endorsed by the Georgia Right to Life PAC, which had once given its seal of approval to Collins in 2012 after he signed the group’s pledge not to support any abortion-related legislation (including anything with rape and incest exceptions) as a candidate. In its endorsement of Broun, the group said Collins changed once he got to Congress and that the incumbent is “lying” to voters about his record on the issue.

Collins’ campaign site, meanwhile, touts his top ratings from National Right to Life and Family Research Council Action.