NARAL Scales Back Television Campaign Attacking President Bush on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 4, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NARAL Scales Back Television Campaign Attacking President Bush on Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 4, 2004

Washington, DC ( — One of the nation’s largest pro-abortion organizations unveiled two television commercials last week blasting President Bush on abortion and stem cell research. Now, the advocacy group is scaling back the amount of money it intended to spend on the media blitz.

NARAL interim president Elizabeth Cavendish told Minnesota Public Radio on Friday that television advertising is effective and wide-reaching, but very costly. It also makes it difficult for the group to reach its target audience.

"Many of the young people we’re trying to target don’t watch as much television and are not as swayed by that kind of type of advertising," Cavendish told MPR.

Cavendish said many of the younger abortion activists her group wants to reach are online.

"[T]hey rely on the Internet as the first place to turn to for information," Cavendish explained. "And so we’ve built an unprecedented online campaign this year and believe that it’s showing some real results in getting our message out to our target audience."

Cavendish also told MPR that the organization is switching gears from relying on a media campaign to using old-fashioned shoe leather to turn out the votes of abortion advocates.

The group will direct a greater share of its campaign coffers to get out the vote efforts such as mailings, phone calls, and going door-to-door.

Last week, NARAL launched a new television ad campaign blasting President Bush’s pro-life record and warning pro-abortion voters that Bush could appoint enough justices to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

One of the NARAL ads calls on pro-abortion voters to "stop George Bush from playing doctor" and criticizes the president for his opposition to the sometimes abortifacient morning after pill, taxpayer funding of abortions and embryonic stem cell research.

With the theme "This time we know it matters," and eerie music playing in the background, the other ad blasts President Bush for seeking partial-birth abortion records to defend the ban on the grisly procedure.

Carol Tobias of the National Right to Life Committee predicted the ads would help Bush.

“Their campaign will backfire on them, harming John Kerry and helping George W. Bush," Tobias, director of the NRLC PAC, told

"By raising the issue, NARAL will draw attention to the fact that John Kerry voted six times to keep partial-birth abortion legal and that he voted against Laci and Conner’s Law," Tobias added.