Report: Democrat Committee to Target State Legislature Races with Pro-Abortion Ad Campaign

Pro-abortion activists protest in Los Angeles, CA, on June 27, 2022. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Democrat political committee centered on state legislatures is creating an affiliated non-profit which is set to launch a pro-abortion ad campaign in Virginia, “an early example of Democrats continuing to lean into the issue after a strong midterm performance,” Politico reported on Monday.

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June of 2022 and returned the issue of abortion to individual states, state legislatures have become a battleground in the war to save unborn babies from abortion. Virginia is one of four states that are holding legislative elections in 2023, elections which are “expected to be highly competitive.”

“The new ad, which comes from the State Democracy Action Fund, raises the possibility of an abortion ban in the state, according to details shared first with POLITICO. ‘Will Virginia pass an extreme abortion ban?’ the ad’s narrator asks, before attacking GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin and ‘extremist lawmakers’ for wanting to ban abortion in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy,” according to the report. The ad cost $150,000 and will run on digital platforms in the “swing region” of Hampton Roads for six weeks.

Kate Stoner, the executive director of State Democracy Action Fund, which is affiliated with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said abortion is still “top of mind for a lot of people right now.” 

“And this is happening in Virginia right now. We want to make sure that folks in the state know what is going on,” Stoner said, noting that the group will also focus on health care and “voting rights,” in addition to pushing the termination of unborn babies. 

Stoner would not say what other states the nonprofit will be running campaigns in, and said the group’s mission is to “educate” voters about proposed legislation rather than pitching legislation models.

“Washington is going to be a bit in gridlock for the foreseeable future,” she said. “And so what’s happening in your state legislature always impacts your day to day life in such a large way, but even more so now.”

Democrats and some Republicans have blamed the pro-life movement for blotting out the highly anticipated “red wave” in the 2022 midterms. However, pro-life groups say that theory has several holes — Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America previously pointed to several national 2022 races where Republicans with strong pro-life positions held onto or won their seats, while weaker Republicans lost out to pro-abortion Democrats. 

“GOP pro-life candidates win in competitive races if they define their opponents as abortion extremists who support abortion on demand with NO limits, and contrast that with a clearly defined pro-life position centered around consensus such as pain-capable or heartbeat limits,” Dannenfelser said. 

She pointed to examples of candidates who “did this effectively and either have won or have a strong shot at winnings as races are settled,” including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator-elect Ted Budd (R-NC), Senator-elect J.D. Vance (R-OH), and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) among others. 

“It’s especially worth highlighting governors who signed ambitious pro-life legislation into law and never flinched politically, despite running in competitive states,” she said. 

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signed a pain-capable law, won by 19.4 percent. 
  • Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) signed a heartbeat law, won by 25.6 percent. 
  • Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) signed a heartbeat law, won by 7.5 percent. 
  • Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed a heartbeat law and a trigger law with complete protections, won by 11.1 percent.

“While we have examples of pro-life GOP candidates who were prepared and went on offense, there are also examples of candidates who were not prepared and took the ostrich strategy: burying their heads in the sand and running from the issue, allowing their opponents to define them. A good example of this is Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania,” she said. 


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