Stemming from conservatives’ objection to Obamacare regulations that will provide more preventive services to women — like contraception — without a co-pay, women’s health has become a key issue in the 2012 election. And according to Wonkblog’s Sarah Kliff, it shows in the spending on campaign ads:
Behind the scenes, candidates and outside groups have poured at least $16.8 million into abortion-related advertising during the 2012 cycle, more than two-thirds of which has come from the Obama campaign and its allies.
The total figure is nearly twice the amount spent on Medicare-related advertising in 2012 and three times as much as groups have spent on immigration-related spots, according to the media tracking firm CMAG/Kantar Media.
At that point in the 2008 election cycle, CMAG had not seen any presidential campaign ads that touched on women’s health and reproduction.
During her speech on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan highlighted several of the controversies that have erupted over restrictions to abortion access, like Virginia’s proposed transvaginal ultrasound bill that legislators changed after facing a national outcry, and Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) recent comments about “legitimate rape” not causing pregnancies. After her speech, Keenan told Kliff, “These issues have been magnified, elevated and catapulted up to the presidential level.”
As groups pour money into ads about abortion and women’s health, a Pew Research Center poll shows that roughly half of voters report that the Democratic Party better reflect their views on abortion compared with 33 percent who chose the Republican Party. Additionally, women voters prefer Democrats on abortion 52 percent to 32 percent.