For Immediate Release: April 29, 2020
The ads targeted at swing voters in AZ and MI call out Trump for ignoring experts and exploiting one of the worst crises in a generation
NARAL Freedom Fund has launched a new ad campaign in Arizona and Michigan that targets Donald Trump and Mike Pence for their relentless efforts to restrict abortion access and control women, even as we grapple with a global pandemic.
The new ads, out today, are a $250,000 spend and are part of NARAL’s ongoing digital ad campaign aimed at targeting swing voters in key battleground states. The new ads specifically call out how, even now during the pandemic– with COVID-19 testing and ventilator shortages, overwhelmed ERs, and over 20 million Americans out of work — the Trump administration continues to ignore experts in order to push their extreme agenda of banning abortion and controlling women.
You can see the new ad here.
The ads were tested and shown to be very effective at moving key voting blocs in both states, and are illustrative of how Trump and the GOP’s extreme overreach on abortion makes them even more vulnerable as these key voting constituencies have been steadily defecting from the Republican party.
Testing showed that highlighting attacks on reproductive freedom drives down Trump favorability among key voting blocs in battleground states, a trend that holds true even during the pandemic. Exposing how Trump dismisses expert medical advice in favor of GOP ideology during the pandemic also decreases confidence in Trump’s performance managing the crisis. Negative movement is especially pronounced among Independents, suburban voters, and Obama-Trump voters exposed to these ads, and was notably equivalent for men and women.
NARAL launched its first set of ads in the campaign on April 15, calling out Trump and Republican politicians for putting ideology over science and exploiting the pandemic. The Trump campaign responded directly to NARAL’s ads by making additional outrageous and false statements.
Last week, NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation also announced ads in Texas, Iowa, Maine, and DC exposing the hypocrisy of so-called “pro-life” politicians amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, it also launched ads in Georgia calling out Governor Brian Kemp for his “pro-life” hypocrisy amid the pandemic.
Statement from NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue:
“In the middle of a global pandemic, Donald Trump and Mike Pence are ignoring science and experts and exploiting the crisis to advance their agenda to ban abortion and control women. We need them to focus on the health and wellbeing of Americans in this moment. Instead, they are far more interested in their own agenda and appeasing their small and shrinking political base. Their choices are not only reprehensible, the ads show that they are a grave political miscalculation. Voters are rightly upset and concerned about these actions and it will cost the President with the key blocs who will decide this election, and who have already been leaving the GOP in droves.
NARAL is going to force Trump and his Republican allies to answer for the fact that, even now, as we face a generational crisis, they are putting their out-of-touch ideology over science, over medical expertise, and over the wellbeing of millions of Americans. NARAL is committed to ensuring that these voters in key states see how Trump is prioritizing above all else the interests of his most extreme base.”
These latest ads are part of NARAL’s multi-faceted, largest-ever electoral program for the 2020 election. Key to NARAL’s strategy is inoculating voters against the extreme disinformation campaigns that have become the anti-choice movement and Republicans’ calling cards. Also key to NARAL’s strategy is reaching, persuading, and mobilizing key voter segments including soft-partisan persuadable women voters and low-propensity, pro-choice voters who are motivated by Trump and Republicans’ commitment to ending Roe v. Wade, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women. These critical voting blocs value reproductive freedom and align with the seven in 10 Americans who support Roe v. Wade.
Background on Trump and the anti-choice movement’s exploitation of the COVID-19 crisis:
As the country grapples with the pandemic, the Trump-Pence administration and anti-choice politicians across the country continue to try to undermine reproductive freedom.
Officials in states across the country—including Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia—have also attempted to ban abortion, using the COVID-19 pandemic as a smokescreen.
On top of that, Republican Attorneys General in over 20 states are involved in anti-choice amicus curiae briefs in an attempt to restrict abortion during the pandemic: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
In March, Vice President Mike Pence (who disastrously mishandled his handling of Indiana’s HIV crisis as the state’s governor) held a call with anti-choice leaders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, representatives of more than four dozen anti-choice groups penned a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar pushing disinformation about abortion to demand the agency force providers to cease providing abortion care and take other steps to undermine reproductive freedom during this global pandemic.
Anti-choice politicians across the country are trying to use the pandemic as an excuse to try to ban abortion, using medical disinformation to push their unpopular agenda at the direct expense of people’s health and lives. Much of the disinformation spread by anti-choice groups is outrageous fabrication designed to confuse and mislead voters and deflect attention away from anti-choice politicians’ efforts to criminalize abortion and punish women during a time of national and global crisis.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and seven other expert medical organizations say abortion care is “a time-sensitive service for which a delay of several weeks, or in some cases days, may increase the risks or potentially make it completely inaccessible. The consequences of being unable to obtain an abortion profoundly impact a person’s life, health, and well-being.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power, and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”