Democrats in the United States are making abortion rights a central part of their campaigns in the run-up to crucial midterm elections, pouring an unprecedented amount of money into advertising on the issue.
As the most intense campaign period begins, Democrats have already invested more than an estimated $124 million this year in television advertising referring to abortion, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the unbiased research firm AdImpact.
That’s more than twice as much money as the party’s next top song — “character” — and nearly 20 times what it spent on abortion-related ads in the 2018 midterm elections, the news agency reported Tuesday.
Reproduction rights came under the spotlight in the US after the country’s highest court in June overturned a landmark 1973 decision that guaranteed the US constitutional right to abortion.
While expected and welcomed by some, the overthrow of Roe v Wade caused a sense of anger and grief among many across the country and sparked mass demonstrations, with protesters demanding Democrats act to uphold people’s right to proceedings. to defend.
Republican-led states have tightened abortion restrictions in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision, and rights advocates say black and low-income people will bear the brunt of the restrictions.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision, about one dollar in three on television advertising has been spent by Democrats and their allies targeting abortion, the AP analysis shows.
Much of the spending is intended to attack Republicans during the Nov. 8 vote, who have long opposed abortion rights and are currently involved in a state-by-state effort to restrict abortion rights or ban the practice altogether.
Democrats’ unprecedented investment in abortion coverage on TV this year through Sept. 18 is greater than the Republican Party’s combined national investment in advertising related to economics, crime and immigration, the AP said.
“With less than 60 days until the election, we refuse to watch as out of step, anti-choice Republicans try to control our bodies and our future while lying to voters about it,” Melissa Williams, executive director of Women Vote!, an outside group that has invested more than $4 million in abortion ads this year, the news agency said.
“We make sure every voter knows the candidates who are for and against them in protecting this right,” Williams said.
A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 22 percent of Americans said abortion was their number one problem in the run-up to midterm exams, while 58 percent said the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v Wade caused they went to vote earlier.
“The Supreme Court decision…this summer has had a major impact on electoral politics as we head into 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’s decision, Democrats remain energized as Republicans’ interest has faded since June.”
In July, Democrats in the US House of Representatives passed two bills aimed at ensuring abortion rights, including protecting patients who travel out of state to access abortion services. But the measures failed amid opposition in the evenly divided Senate.
The effort in Congress came after Democratic President Joe Biden signed an executive order that month ordering the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to protect and expand access to abortion services, including out-of-state and federal travel. approved medication.
Meanwhile, political divisions over abortion were re-emphasized last week when US Senate leader Lindsey Graham, a Republican, introduced a bill that would ban abortion in the US at 15 weeks.
“If we passed my bill — our bill — we’d be in the mainstream of just about everyone in the world,” Graham, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, said at a news conference, adding that dozens of European countries have similar, if not stricter, restrictions.
While the bill has no chance of passing, the White House denounced it as “wildly out of step” with the views of the American public.