NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Telling viewers the Supreme Court is “only one vote away from outlawing a woman’s right to choose,” a new campaign ad for Democratic candidate John Kerry criticizes President Bush’s pro-life position on abortion.
The 30-second ad, which is set to run for two weeks on cable channels, coincides with a national pro-choice march April 25 in Washington. The ad calls Bush’s position “anti-choice” and does not mention the word “abortion,” even though that is the ad’s theme.
“George Bush will appoint anti-choice, anti-privacy justices,” the ad says. “But you can stop him. Help elect John Kerry and join the fight to protect our right to choose.”
The ad ends with a request for contributions and Kerry saying, “I approve this message.”
Pro-life supporters say that the ad’s assertion that the Supreme Court is “one vote away” from overturning Roe v. Wade is incorrect. Generally, pro-lifers believe they have three votes on the court: William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. The question mark is Anthony Kennedy, who voted to uphold Roe in 1992 but surprised some by voting to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban in 2000. The partial-birth abortion ban was struck down by a 5-4 vote, with the four aforementioned justices voting in the minority.
If Kennedy is pro-Roe, then a change of two voters — not one as the ad asserts — is needed to overturn the controversial decision.
By running the ad, the Kerry campaign appears to be painting a contrast between the current president and the Democratic hopeful. President Bush signed both the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, while Kerry voted against both of them.
The partial birth abortion ban outlawed a procedure in which a baby is partially delivered, feet first, until its head remains in the birth canal. The abortionist then punctures the skull and suctions out the brain, preventing a live delivery. The ban is being challenged in court.
The Unborn Victims bill treats an unborn child as a crime victim when he or she is injured or slain during the commission of a federal offense against a pregnant woman.
With reporting by Michael Foust & Tom Strode.