Ad slams McCain over chance women could be jailed for abortions

A pro-choice group plans to spend millions of dollars in Colorado and other swing states in October airing an ad that asks how long women should spend in jail if they have abortions after Roe v. Wade is overturned, as John McCain supports.

The Winning Message Action Fund, part of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, unveiled the 30-second TV ad Thursday, along with a Web site that details recent attempts by 14 states — including Colorado — to outlaw abortions.

In 2007 alone, 14 states considered legislation that would make all abortions illegal, except in cases of rape, incest or where the mother’s life is at risk. For example, a key committee in the Colorado legislature came within one vote of passing legislation to make all abortions illegal. Three states actually enacted complete bans on abortion, and states like Missouri already have abortion bans on the books that will likely take effect the day Roe v. Wade is overturned by a conservative Supreme Court.

Not so fast, there NIRH.

The Colorado bill, a version of a 2006 South Dakota law, would have made it a Class 3 felony to perform an abortion or provide drugs that terminate pregnancies. It was assigned by the Colorado Senate’s Democratic leadership to the bill-killing Judiciary Committee, where a party-line 4-3 vote kept it from advancing. Colorado, unlike many other states, is highly unlikely to outlaw abortion in the current political climate, but conservative lawmakers gamely make the attempt year after year.

But beyond that rhetorical bump in the road, the ad charges that a McCain victory could lead to 21 states banning abortion:

Politico’s Ben Smith reports:

… Spokeswoman Samantha Levine says the “multi-million dollar campaign” will air in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, and Wisconsin, starting at the beginning of October.

It’s part of a broad campaign waged over the Republican ticket’s stance on abortion, as the Wall Street Journal reports :

The multimillion-dollar “How Much Time?” initiative, targeted at Republican and independent women aged 30 to 60 in key swing states, implies that if abortion is banned, women will be treated like criminals. The ads show images of prison bars closing on a young woman.

“When it comes to your personal freedoms, John McCain is worse than George W. Bush. Who’s worse than John McCain? Sarah Palin,” reads one of the new ads.

“The suggestion that John McCain and Sarah Palin want to put women behind bars is absurd,” McCain-Palin spokesman Tucker Bounds says in response to the ad.

The Winning Message group also interviewed anti-abortion demonstrators in Libertyville, Ill., asking whether women should be jailed for abortions if they are made illegal. Watch their answers here. (Preview: the abortion foes haven’t really thought about that part.)

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Ernest Luning

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