(Headline USA) The Democratic National Committee is launching a digital ad campaign to energize its voters after last month’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, deceptively claiming that Republicans’ ultimate goal is to outlaw abortion nationwide.
While some pro-lifers might support such action, there is no evidence that the broader GOP caucus would back it. The underlying legal objection to the federal abortion mandate established under Roe was that it had invented a so-called constitutional right through judicial interpretation rather than the constitutionally outlined ratification process.
To attempt to take that power back from the states would effectively undermine large parts of the case against Roe, although Republicans in Congress might instead wish to draft legislation that would prevent the court from flip-flopping back to the federal mandate should a leftist majority one day overtake the bench.
Regardless of reality, partisan Democrats have leveraged the abortion issue to churn up as much outrage as possible—often through disinformation, if not brute force. They’re desperately hoping to fire up their base ahead of the midterm elections, while inflation is at record highs and President Joe Biden’s approval ratings sag.
Their current ad is based around comments made by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who refused to rule out the possibility of a GOP abortion ban after Democrats threatened to abolish the filibuster in a drastic bid to undermine the court’s expected ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.
McConnell made the intentionally vague and abstract remarks shortly after a draft of the Dobbs opinion was leaked to the press—presumably by a sympathetic left-wing activist clerking for one of the court’s three liberal justices.
“If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies—not only at the state level but at the federal level—certainly could legislate in that area,” the Kentucky Republican told USA Today.
“And if this were the final decision, that was the point that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process,” he continued. “So yeah, it’s possible.”
A consummate horse-trader, McConnell was likely keeping it on the table to remind his partisan opponents that their own overreaching actions in calling for a filibuster “carve out” on the issue might have unintended consequences later.
Nonetheless, the DNC is sponsoring its $10,000 ad buy beginning Tuesday on the websites of more than 20 lifestyle publications, including Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Essence, GQ, Men’s Health and Esquire.
The ads feature a picture of McConnell alongside pink, white and blue text that says: “Republicans are pushing to ban abortion nationally. Join us in fighting back.”
Some top Republicans, meanwhile, are eager to lean into the pro-life fight, seeing the overturning of Roe as a promise they kept to voters.
Former Vice President Mike Pence said after the ruling that “we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land.”
The DNC’s ads were meant to help publicize DefendChoice.org, a website the various Democratic campaign arms created after the Supreme Court ruling.
The site contains links and information about ways people can voice their opposition—including by joining phone-banking sessions for elections in battleground states or hosting events.
Democrat activist organizations have faced criticism already for their dangerous rhetoric and riots, several of which have broken federal and state law. It is unclear whether the DNC was actively endorsing domestic-terrorism groups like Ruth Sent Us and Jane’s Revenge, which have vandalized property and propelled threats of violence, including an assassination attempt on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The DNC claimed the site connects grassroots activists with the party’s existing national infrastructure, and it notes that its volunteers made 23,000-plus calls in the weekend following the ruling—its most active weekend since last November’s election.
The committee said even before the ruling, it held briefings for state parties, elected officials and campaign staff to share research and messaging ideas compiled on the national level.
Tuesday’s digital ad buy follows a similar, five-figure digital campaign launched June 29 in which the DNC proclaimed that Republicans “want to go further and ban abortion. Believe them.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press