The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Channel 08

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. ( 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  | Category:  Channel 08
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What a truly shameful display from a presidential candidate. After seeing this, please tell me again why/how this man is qualified? He can't even repeat his position on a simple issue, how can he run this country.

Peter principle - McCain is in way way over his head.

Posted by: JDB | July 17, 2008 9:24 AM

Pehaps if he kept his Pe%%er in his pants he would know.

Posted by: justadad55+ | July 17, 2008 1:19 AM

Posted by: OB/GYN The physically injurious aspects of pregnancy and childbirth for women are always ignored by those who, many times with fanaticism, are against the legalization of abortion or discriminate against it.

Is this a statement that no women are ever injured in the act of abortion? How about incompetent cervix, premature birth, perforated uterus, depression, suicide, cutting, not bonding with future children? Are your really saying that there is no harm caused by abortion?

Posted by: elm | July 16, 2008 9:26 PM

As a former embryo, I was nurtured by my mother within and later out of the womb. I suspect that all of us are at least grateful for our chance at life. While the decisions we make with our grown bodies require respect, we should remember that we are now able to make these decisions because our mothers at least cared enough not to end the potential for our lives.

At least in this country, our government is impacted by the broader society and it is my hope that my fellow Americans will never allow the ending of a pregnancy to be something made easy or convenient. Life can be difficult and short, and it can be long and blessed with many challenges and rewards. Life should always have a chance.

Posted by: Former Embryo | July 16, 2008 7:38 PM

Just a thought and a question... are there more unwanted pregnancies, more sexually transmitted diseases, more divorces, more abortions, more unfaithful marriages and more unhappiness before we had free and easy access to birth control or now that we do have all this birth control?

Posted by: MarkF | July 16, 2008 3:47 PM

Re: Senator Obama

Let him pin or not pin: That is the
Issue we need to talk about.

Posted by: imagination | July 16, 2008 2:10 PM

Women of both parties understand that McCain completely fails to understand the specific concerns of women. His voting record is so bad when it comes to women, it is hard to believe that any women who cares about women would vote for him

Posted by: nclwtk | July 16, 2008 1:45 PM

I consider the right to the interruption of undesired pregnancies, that is, the right to abortion, a fundamental right of women. This right is related to the self-preservation of the female body against the arduous sacrifices that gestation and childbirth impose upon it. I think that the so frequently debated rights of the embryo cannot prevail over the rights of the woman who houses it inside her body - a body that has to be considerably sacrificed so that the embryo can develop and be born - especially if this happens against her will. The physically injurious aspects of pregnancy and childbirth for women are always ignored by those who, many times with fanaticism, are against the legalization of abortion or discriminate against it. Nevertheless, as I said above, these physical injuries are a medical fact, a medical reality, and all of us gynecologists know them quite well.

Posted by: OB/GYN | July 16, 2008 1:40 PM

Use a Condom and/or Pull Out!

Seriously it is the end of CLASS as WE know it if we offer Unlimited Aboritions. There are Health Care Programs for Birth Control and Birth Control is NOT that expensive! A Condom is Cheap! Plus it protects against diseases!

Posted by: Use a Condom! | July 16, 2008 1:30 PM

To Women,

With Barack Obama in the Whitehouse, In & Out Clinics will be able to provide you with Unrestricted and Unlimited Abortions for only $199.00 a Month!!!

That's it! We'll have you "In & Out" faster than your men!

Paid for by: In & Out Clinics

Posted by: In & Out Clinics | July 16, 2008 1:26 PM

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