Ad Asks McCain, “How Much Time Should She Do?”

A pro-choice group plans to spend millions of dollars in Colorado
and other swing states in October airing an ad that asks how long women
should spend in jail if they have abortions after Roe v. Wade is
overturned, as John McCain supports.

The Winning Message Action Fund, part of the National Institute for
Reproductive Health, unveiled the 30-second TV ad Thursday, along with
a Web site that details recent attempts by 14 states — including Colorado — to outlaw abortions.

In 2007 alone, 14 states considered legislation that
would make all abortions illegal, except in cases of rape, incest or
where the mother’s life is at risk. For example, a key committee in the
Colorado legislature came within one vote of passing legislation to
make all abortions illegal. Three states actually enacted complete bans
on abortion, and states like Missouri already have abortion bans on the
books that will likely take effect the day Roe v. Wade is overturned by
a conservative Supreme Court.

Not so fast, there NIRH.

The Colorado bill,
a version of a 2006 South Dakota law, would have made it a Class 3
felony to perform an abortion or provide drugs that terminate
pregnancies. It was assigned by the Colorado Senate’s Democratic
leadership to the bill-killing Judiciary Committee, where a party-line
4-3 vote kept it from advancing. Colorado, unlike many other states, is
highly unlikely to outlaw abortion in the current political climate,
but conservative lawmakers gamely make the attempt year after year.

But beyond that rhetorical bump in the road, the ad charges that a McCain victory could lead to 21 states banning abortion:


Politico’s Ben Smith reports:

… Spokeswoman Samantha Levine says the “multi-million
dollar campaign” will air in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, and
Wisconsin, starting at the beginning of October.

It’s part of a broad campaign waged over the Republican ticket’s stance on abortion, as the Wall Street Journal reports :

The multimillion-dollar “How Much Time?” initiative,
targeted at Republican and independent women aged 30 to 60 in key swing
states, implies that if abortion is banned, women will be treated like
criminals. The ads show images of prison bars closing on a young woman.

“When it comes to your personal freedoms, John McCain is worse than
George W. Bush. Who’s worse than John McCain? Sarah Palin,” reads one
of the new ads.

“The suggestion that John McCain and Sarah Palin want to put women
behind bars is absurd,” McCain-Palin spokesman Tucker Bounds says in
response to the ad.

The Winning Message group also interviewed anti-abortion
demonstrators in Libertyville, Ill., asking whether women should be
jailed for abortions if they are made illegal. Watch their answers here. (Preview: the abortion foes haven’t really thought about that part.)


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  • invalid-0

    When I saw the header and tag description for this entry, on the sidebar of the previous page I was at (“…asks how long women should spend in jail if they have abortions after Roe v. Wade is overturned.”) I was going to note that this is, as has become typical, a conflating of issues.

    Roe v. Wade was wrong, aside from the issue of whether abortion should be legal. Even many supporters of abortion being legalized have stated that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.

    Even Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, perhaps the strongest advocate for abortion rights and feminist issues currently on the U.S. Supreme Court, has previously written that, while she agrees with its outcome (making abortion illegal), the Roe v. Wade decision itself was wrong.

    As for the “how much time” issue, and whether Republicans “have thought about it”… First off, this is wrong-minded reasoning, as many liberals and Democrats are also pro-life. (The Democrat Party deliberately tried to promote pro-life leaders and candidates, after their major losses in 2002 and 2004.)

    But also, I wanted to mention that this very issue is dealt with, in the Republican Party Platform. The Platform specifically states that women who have abortions should not serve any jail time… But rather, it is the perpetrators of the abortions who should be punished.

  • invalid-0

    Ernest — I take your point that CO has been unable to pass legislation making abortion a felony, but you actually raise the very issue that is so critical here when you say that “CO is highly unlikely to outlaw abortion in the CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE.”

    The reality is that the climate could change and, if it does, the relentless attempts by anti-choicers to ban abortion could move forward. That is precisely the scenario we seek to avoid by reminding voters that we need to be vigilant and elect legislators who share our pro-choice values.

    An unprecedented 17 states recently introduced 38 bans aimed at making abortion illegal; we need to make sure that a woman’s right to access safe, legal abortion is protected.

    Note: (The Center for Reproductive Rights has a full report detailing the consequences If Roe Falls:

    -Samantha, Director of Media Relations for the Winning Message Action Fund and the National Institute for Reproductive Health

  • sayna

    It doesn’t make sense not to punish the women! They are committing a crime, arent’ they? What’s the point of making a law when you’re not going to bother to enforce it?

    Sure, it may be a doctor (or some backalley quack) who actually performs the abortion, but the woman hired them to do it. Since when do you punish the hitman/assassin but not the guy that hired him? Unless you believe women are just so stupid and fickle that they couldn’t possibly go seek out an abortion and that they must have been tricked into it. It’s weird, though, that you wouldn’t say that about most other people you consider murderers.

    And what about when it is the woman who induces the abortion? When a pregnant woman comes to the hospital with a coathanger or knitting needle inside her, a perforated uterus, a poisoning or other suspicious injury she’s been literally caught red-handed! It was her attempting to perform the abortion. There’s no well-intentioned doctor to use as a scapegoat nor a backalley surgeon to condemn. Just the woman. How much time should she do?