$37M Spent on Election Abortion Ads, Pro-Lifers Outspent 3-1

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 15, 2012   |   4:16PM   |   Washington, DC

A post-election report focused on advertising related to the 2012 presidential election shows why pro-life groups need to spend the coming years working on developing new and bigger donors in time for the 2014 elections.

A Washington Post report focuses on how the pro-abortion side of the abortion debate outspent the pro-life community almost four-to-one.

In the Sunlight Foundation‘s rundown of outside groups and their success in last week’s election, two groups stand out as getting a near perfect “return on investment” — Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the super PAC and non-profit arms of the family planning organization.

Combined, the two Planned Parenthood advocacy groups say they spent $15 million on ads, phone calls, events, mail, and door-to-door canvassing. In 2008, their campaign spending was about $4 million total.

In large part, Planned Parenthood’s success is due to President Obama’s victory. Most of the groups’ money went towards boosting Obama or attacking Mitt Romney. Eighty-seven percent of funds spent by Planned Parenthood Action Fund and 80 percent of spending by Planned Parenthood Votes went towards the presidential race, according to the Sunlight Foundation tallies.

Ad data shows that abortion and women’s health issues also played a far more prominent role in this race compared to 2008.

In the presidential race, according to CMAG, over $37 million was spent on ads mentioning abortion. Of that, $29 million was spent by Democratic groups; $8 million was spent by Republicans. In 2008, only $8 million total was spent on abortion-related ads. Put another way, Democratic organizations spent 10 times as much on ads mention women’s health in 2012 vs. 2008.

Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List says pro-life advocates need to re-energize and get back in the fight to protect women and children from abortion.



“The most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history was re-elected. We fought with everything we had, and it simply was not enough,” she said. “Now is not the time to give up. Nothing has changed — thousands of innocent unborn lives are being lost each and every day — and they still need our voice. If not us, then who?”

“It’s easy to be discouraged. Trust me, I know. But it’s important to recognize that the pro-life cause is not what lost on Election Day. The hard data from polling consistently shows that not only is standing up for Life the right thing to do, but it wins votes. That hasn’t changed,” Dannefelser added. “Another thing that the election did not change is that we have bold, courageous leaders in Congress ready to fight President Obama every step of the way for the next four years. All they need to know is that we have their backs.”

“We’ve been through bad elections before and we always emerge stronger as a movement and this election is no different,” Dannefelser concluded.