Obama radio ad: ‘McCain will make abortion illegal’

The Obama campaign began airing a radio ad in Colorado and at least six other swing states this week that takes on John McCain’s opposition to abortion, Politico’s Ben Smith reports.

“Let me tell you: If Roe vs. Wade is overturned, the lives and health of women will be put at risk. That’s why this election is so important,” says the nurse-practitioner who narrates Obama’s ad. “John McCain’s out of touch with women today. McCain wants to take away our right to choose. That’s what women need to understand. That’s how high the stakes are.”

An announcer then claims that “as president, John McCain will make abortion illegal,” before playing an exchange on “Meet the Press” in which McCain told moderator Tim Russert that he favors “a constitutional amendment to ban all abortions.”

“We can’t let John McCain take away our right to choose. We can’t let him take us back,” says the ad.

Women’s groups have urged Obama to draw a sharper distinction with the Republican ticket because polling shows many women believe the self-styled maverick McCain supports abortion rights.

In fact, the Arizona senator has long supported a ban on abortions, with exceptions for victims of rape and incest, and for pregnancies that threaten the life of the mother. Palin has an even firmer anti-abortion stance: She would require rape and incest victims to carry their pregnancies to term.

The ad is airing in Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Colorado, according to Politico readers.

An abortion-rights activist said the ad is just the first salvo in a campaign over the contentious issue. Former NARAL President Kate Michelman said the Obama campaign would “ensure that women know the truth about John McCain and Gov. Palin,” using radio ads, mailers, phone banks and door-to-door contact.

Though the campaign says the ad was released before Palin was chosen, Michelman said her selection, and her strong anti-abortion stance, would drive the issue closer to the center of the race.

“By his nomination of Gov. Palin, McCain has made his opposition to a woman’s right to decide a major campaign issue,” she said.

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