Democrats in the United States are making abortion rights a central part of their campaigns ahead of critical midterm elections, pumping an unprecedented amount of money into publicity on the issue.
As the most intense campaign period begins, Democrats have already invested more than $124 million this year in television advertising referring to abortion, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by the company. AdImpact non-partisan research.
That’s more than twice as much money as the party’s next big issue – ‘character’ – and nearly 20 times what it spent on abortion-related ads midway through 2018 , the news agency reported on Tuesday.
Reproductive rights have been thrust into the spotlight in the United States after the nation’s top court in June overturned a landmark 1973 ruling that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion in the United States.
Although expected and welcomed by some, the reversal of Roe v Wade has sparked feelings of anger and grief for many across the country and sparked mass protests, with protesters demanding that Democrats step in to defend people’s right to procedure.
Republican-led states moved to dramatically restrict abortion following the US Supreme Court ruling, and rights advocates say black people and low-income people will bear the brunt of the restrictions.
Since the High Court’s ruling, about one in three TV advertising dollars spent by Democrats and their allies has focused on abortion, the AP analysis showed.
Much of the spending is aimed at attacking Republicans in the Nov. 8 ballot, who have long opposed abortion rights and are currently engaged in a state-by-state campaign to restrict abortion rights or ban this practice completely.
Democrats’ unprecedented investment in abortion messaging on TV this year through Sept. 18 is greater than the Republican Party’s combined national investment in ads related to the economy, crime and the economy. immigration, AP said.
“With less than 60 days to go until the election, we refuse to sit idly by while anti-choice Republicans try to control our bodies and our futures and simultaneously lie to voters about it,” Melissa Williams, Executive Director of Women Vote! , an outside group that has invested more than $4 million in abortion-related ads this year, told the news agency.
“We make sure every voter knows the candidates who stand with them and against them to protect that right,” Williams said.
A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll showed that 22% of Americans said abortion was their top issue ahead of the midterm elections, while 58% said the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v Wade had made them more likely to vote.
“The Supreme Court’s decision … this summer had a major impact on electoral politics in the run-up to the midterm elections,” said Lee M Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
“Not only are Democrats more motivated to vote than Republicans because of the court ruling, but Democrats remain energized as Republican interest has faded since June.”
In July, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills aimed at protecting abortion rights, including protecting patients who travel out of state to access abortion services. But the measures failed to pass amid opposition in the equally divided Senate.
The effort in Congress came after Democratic President Joe Biden signed an executive order that month directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to protect and expand access to abortion services, including out-of-state travel and federally approved medications.
Meanwhile, political divisions over abortion were brought to light again last week, when US Senate Minority Leader Lindsey Graham, a Republican, introduced a bill banning abortion at 15 weeks. pregnancy in the United States.
“If we passed my bill — our bill — we would be in the mainstream of almost everyone in the world,” Graham, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, said at a conference. release, adding that dozens of European countries have stricter, if not stricter, restrictions.
While the bill has no chance of passing, the White House has denounced it as “totally out of step” with the views of the American public.