RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s political action committee (PAC), Spirit of Virginia, is launching a $1.4 million ad campaign focusing on abortion.
The 30-second advertisement attempts to paint Republicans as more in touch with Virginia voters on abortion rights.
The ad says, “Here is the truth. There is no ban. Virginia Republicans support a reasonable 15-week limit with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother.”
The ad comes after a recent University of Mary Washington poll revealed that 53% of Virginians say the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade will play a “major factor” in deciding who they vote for this November.
“The Republicans have learned they can’t avoid abortion because it is the hottest issue in this off-off year at least,” said Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
Democrats have warned if Republicans win the majority in both general assembly chambers, they’ll ban abortion. Republicans are fighting back saying they favor a “15-week limit.”
“They’re airing an inoculation ad that is before the rush of pro-choice, and anti-Republican advertising hit the airwaves in the rest of October and early November,” Sabato said. “They want to get their two cents in on this issue.”
With the same poll from the University of Mary Washington showing 57% of Virginians want abortions legal in all or most cases, Sabato says the ad may backfire on Republicans.
“They’re really bringing to the voters’ attention the fact they want to ban abortion at a particular point,” Sabato said. “It’s going to activate a lot more pro-choice voters who may not have been intending to vote in an off-off year legislative election.”
Virginia is the only state in the South that hasn’t passed additional abortion restrictions after Roe v. Wade was overturned.