WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Democratic National Committee is launching a digital ad campaign to energize its voters after last month’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, warning that Republicans’ ultimate goal is to outlaw abortion nationwide.
The committee is sponsoring an at least $10,000 ad buy beginning Tuesday on the websites of more than 20 lifestyle publications, including Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Essence, GQ, Men’s Health and Esquire.
The ads feature a picture of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell alongside pink, white and blue text that says: “Republicans are pushing to ban abortion nationally. Join us in fighting back.”
The cost is modest for a national campaign — especially when activists have accused President Joe Biden and other top Democrats of failing to respond forcefully enough to the Supreme Court’s decision. Still, Democrats are betting outrage over the high court’s action can fire up their base ahead of the midterm elections, while inflation is at record highs and Biden’s approval ratings sag.
The DNC says it also plans to launch a separate, six-figure television ad campaign encouraging activism to defend abortion rights later this week across a dozen media markets in battleground areas.
Many top Republicans, meanwhile, are eager to lean into the fight against abortion rights, seeing the overturning of Roe as a promise they kept to voters.
Since the Supreme Court nullified Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized the right to an abortion, in a ruling June 24, many Republican-led states have rushed to enact broad restrictions on the procedure. No federal legislation outlawing it exists, and getting such a bill through Congress would likely be difficult — but McConnell suggested even before the Supreme Court’s ruling that a future nationwide ban was “possible.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence said after the ruling that “we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land.”
The DNC’s digital ads are promoting what it is calling a “week of action” devoted to defending what it calls abortion rights.
“With this Defend Choice Week of Action, we’re giving people across the country a chance to turn their anger into action by holding anti-choice Republicans accountable and helping to elect Democrats,” DNC chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement.
The digital ads, and the television campaign beginning later this week, are also helping publicize DefendChoice.org, a website the various Democratic campaign arms created after the Supreme Court ruling.
The DNC says the site connects grassroots activists with the party’s existing national infrastructure, and it notes that its volunteers made 23,000-plus calls in the weekend following the ruling — its most active weekend since last November’s election. The committee says even before the ruling, it held briefings for state parties, elected officials and campaign staff to share research and messaging ideas compiled on the national level.
Tuesday’s digital ad buy and the upcoming TV buy follow a five-figure digital campaign launched June 29 in which the DNC proclaimed that Republicans “want to go further and ban abortion. Believe them.”