South Dakota Abortion Ban Campaigns Spending Heavily on TV Ads

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 24, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Abortion Ban Campaigns Spending Heavily on TV Ads Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 24
, 2006

Pierre, SD ( — Both sides in the battle over a statewide measure that would ban virtually all abortions continue to spend heavily on television advertisements. As the election gets closer, they are expected to increase the amount of money they’re spending on the commercials in an effort to persuade voters.

The group opposed to the ban is outspending the pro-life organization that supports it by a 2-1 margin on the two top television stations in the state’s largest city, Sioux Falls.

According to the Argus Leader newspaper, the pro-abortion Campaign for Healthy Families has spent $285,227.50 on ads on the CBS and ABC television stations while Vote Yes for Life has paid for $122,592.50 on commercials there.

KDLT in Sioux Falls, the NBC affiliate, did not disclose spending figures.

Jan Nicolay, a spokeswoman for the pro-abortion group, told the newspaper that she isn’t sure if it will continue to use the three commercials they’ve run previously or create any new ones before election day.

Meanwhile, Leslee Unruh, who heads Vote Yes for Life, said her group has aired two different commercials and added that national organizations have asked her for air time to run commercials. Uhruh appeared to indicate that her group will rely on its own ads in the closing weeks.

"We’ve had people give us a lot of ideas," Unruh said. "Only South Dakota knows what’s right for South Dakota."

Previously, the groups talked about their plans to turn out voters.

"Our people are well trained and well organized. They are energetic. They’ve waited a long time for a day like this to come, where they all come together and work to do something," Unruh told the Associated Press.

Nicolay says her group will have a harder time because it had not been well organized in the state before.

"We have to identify our voters because we didn’t have that voter base to start with," Nicolay said. "For us, it’s crucial."

Unruh said that her group plans to have more than 30,000 signs in place across the state before election day and plans more television commercials.

She told AP that the best help people from other states can give is to donate to her campaign so it can keep reaching voters.
"If there’s a problem with the campaign, it’s been people from outside wanting to come in," Unruh said. "I’ve tried to focus on the voters of South Dakota."

"If you want to write out a check, that is how I see the outside help — donate," Unruh said.

The pro-life group’s grassroots campaign has increased the level of public support for the abortion ban, according to a late September Zogby International poll. The survey, of 531 likely South Dakota voters on September 20, finds 44 percent of state residents back the abortion ban while 47 percent oppose it.

That’s an increase of five percentage points since a July Mason-Dixon poll found a 47-39 split against the ban.

Related web sites:
Vote Yes for Life –