Planned Parenthood Spot Targets McCain on Birth Control
Updated 5:29 p.m.
By Ed O'Keefe
The political arm of Planned Parenthood will start airing a 30-second TV ad today critical of John McCain's stance on birth control and women's health issues. The spot uses recent footage of McCain struggling to express his opinion when asked what he thought of some health care companies' decision to cover Viagra, but not birth control.
"I don't know enough about it to give you an informed answer," McCain says in the ad. The presumptive GOP nominee gave the answer to a reporter's question last week, and the exchange has circulated in various forms on the blogosphere ever since.
"The more women know about McCain, they more they see that John McCain is out of touch on women's health care," said Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards, announcing the spot. "This ad is a powerful visual showing women that John McCain has no answer when it comes to protecting women's health."
The group cites a Guttmacher Institute study that reports "nearly all sexually active women have used at least one method of birth control," and the women spend more money on health care costs than men, partly because of birth control supplies and services.
The ad will air in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. during local cable ad buys on Bravo's "Project Runway," which makes its season debut tonight. (MoveOn.org has also advertised during the show, which is popular with women.) The ad will also air during local breaks on Lifetime's "Army Wives" and in some states it will air on broadcast stations during "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
While the group would not disclose the cost of the ad buy, it is part of Planned Parenthood's $10 million "kNOw McCain" campaign designed to educate and register women voters.
Barack Obama leads McCain among women 54 percent to 39 percent in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. Voters also prefer Obama over McCain to deal with the nation's social issues, including abortion and same-sex civil unions, according to the survey.
The Republican National Committee called the spot misleading. "These types of misleading partisan attacks won't help women who are desperately in need of quality health care," said RNC spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson. "John McCain's plan will provide all Americans with choice and competition in health insurance, putting patients in charge of their own care instead of Washington bureaucrats."
Posted at 1:19 PM ET on Jul 16, 2008
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