Fact check: How a Democratic ad misleads four Republican candidates on abortion stance


Democrats have spent weeks attacking Republican midterm candidates with TV ads about abortion. Some ads are misleading.

Many Democratic ads accurately describe their GOP-targeted strictly anti-abortion stance. But others have used sly rhetoric and implied power to create the impression that some Republican candidates have taken a more aggressive anti-abortion stance than those candidates actually have.

Some ads try to make it sound like Republicans who support exceptions for rape, incest and mothers’ lives oppose them. Other ads try to make Republicans who oppose the federal abortion ban sound in favor of the federal ban.

Below is an ad for four Republican candidates in the House of Representatives. This is not an exhaustive list. We haven’t seen all the abortion ads that air across the country.

An October ad attacked Esther Joy King, the Republican candidate for Illinois’ 17th District, claiming that “Esther Joy King supports even Republicans who want a nationwide ban on abortion, rape or incest.”

While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s ad was correct, Kim described herself as “unapologetically pro-life” and she commend The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and the ad did not mention the exceptions that King said in August she supported rape, incest and mother’s life. During a debate the night before the ad was released, King also said she opposed the federal abortion ban.

The DCCC’s wording — that King “stands with Republicans who want” a national abortion ban, with no exceptions for rape or incest — allows ads to avoid expressly claiming that King himself wants a national abortion ban, with no exceptions for rape or incest. But the ad did not acknowledge that King had spoken out against proposals the ad suggested she planned to support.

A lawyer for King’s campaign sent a letter to the station asking them to stop the ad, saying the DCCC had “smeared” King by “deliberately misrepresenting” her position. CNN was unable to determine how each station responded.

DCCC spokeswoman Helen Kalla supports the ad about King and DCCC’s ad for two other Republican candidates, Marc Molinaro and April Becker, mentioned by CNN later in this article. Carla argues that Republicans are “desperately trying to mislead voters about their positions.”

A DCCC ad released in mid-September claimed that the Republican candidate for New York’s 19th District, Mark Molinaro, would “stand with politicians who support a national abortion ban.” The words on the screen read “Mark Molinaro,” “politicians who ban abortion nationwide,” “even victims of rape and incest.”

But Molinaro has said he opposes a nationwide abortion ban and supports exceptions for rape and incest.

Molinaro describes himself as a “personally anti-abortion” and generally opposes abortion after 17 weeks. But he said in an August argument that he would not support a nationwide ban, explaining that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. (He said there should be “thoughtful restrictions” on late-term abortions at the state level.) At another event in August, Molinaro said about abortion: “I don’t support imposing the will of the federal government on the states.” According to WSKG radio At his third event in August, he said he supported exceptions for “mother’s life, rape and incest”, including after 17 weeks, the report said.

We were unable to verify Molinaro’s facts with certainty Will Do it if elected, and the ad is worded to avoid outright claims that Molinaro himself wants to ban abortion nationwide, including rape and incest. But like the Illinois ad against King, the ad against Molinaro does not acknowledge the candidate’s public opposition to the proposals.

A lawyer for Molinaro’s campaign sent a letter to the TV stations, asking them to stop airing the ad. The letter said it was incorrect for Molinaro to stand with politicians who support a nationwide abortion ban, adding that “the ad does not provide any citations or other support for this false claim.” CNN was unable to identify each station’s How is the reaction.

The Albany Times Union fact-checked the ad in late September. The Times Coalition noted that during the 2018 New York gubernatorial campaign, Molinaro expressed support for New York’s general idea of ​​passing state legislation to codify abortion rights if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — although he said he doubted the court Will do, and as the DCCC ad rightly points out, he doesn’t support the particular codification bill that state lawmakers were considering at the time.

Molinaro campaign manager Will Dawson said in an email to CNN that Democrats are making up “lies” about Molinaro.

A DCCC ad released in mid-September noted that April Becker, a Republican candidate for Nevada’s 3rd District, is one of Nevada’s House candidates who “wanted to join the ranks of congressional Republicans,” Trying to ban abortion nationwide, including Nevada.”

While Becker clearly wanted to be part of the congressional Republican caucus, the ad made no mention of her repeated commitment to vote against any federal abortion ban.

In an interview published five days before the DCCC ad began airing, NBC News quoted Becker as saying she would “absolutely not” vote for an abortion ban in the House because she believes the ban imposed by Congress is “unconstitutional.” This is not a new position for her. She also told a Nevada news show in July that she believed the federal abortion ban was “unconstitutional,” adding that because (in her interpretation) the Supreme Court said abortion was a matter for the states, “I don’t watch it. No idea how you could pass a law in Congress that would take it out of the states in good faith.”

FactCheck.org previously fact-checked another abortion-related DCCC ad on Becker.

Meanwhile, an ad released last week by the House Majority PAC, the primary outside spending entity for Democrats in the House race, featured a narrator who said Becker had the backing of “extremists” who would pass a national bill. Sexual abortion ban, “without exception” rape, incest or mother’s life. ”

But even the DCCC research paper on Becker notes that Becker herself has publicly supported all three exceptions — something she did on her website even during the Republican primary.

“Baker’s website has never changed on this topic,” Jeremy Hughes, Baker’s campaign general counsel, told CNN last week.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, the group cited in the House Majority PAC’s ad that said Baker had the support of anti-abortion “extremists,” told CNN last week that it supports a variety of Anti-abortion legislation, including a 15-week ban recently proposed by senators. Lindsey Graham includes all three exceptions, and it supports anti-abortion candidates who support all three.

The group also supports stricter anti-abortion laws than Graham’s proposal, including legislation that excludes all three exceptions. But again: Becker does support these exceptions.

The House Majority PAC ad, released in late September, targeted Republican candidate George Logan in Connecticut’s 5th District. “Washington Republicans are discussing a nationwide abortion ban, including in Connecticut, and George Logan will help them — vote for the Republican leadership who has pledged to do so,” the ad said.

The ad did not mention that Logan himself has repeatedly expressed support for abortion rights and opposition to a national abortion ban.

More than a week before the ad was released, CT Mirror reported that Logan said: “I don’t support a state ban. I think it should be up to the states. Right here in Connecticut, we’ve codified women’s right to choose. That’s what I support. “I think abortion should be safe, legal, and most importantly rare,” Logan said of abortion in a July interview, CT Insider reported; he added in July, He was “strongly opposed to late-term abortions,” but later said in an interview that he would even support those abortions for medical reasons.

In an interview with CT examiners in October, Logan said he favors a parental notification policy when minors seek abortions. But he also said, “I support women’s right to choose, but I think it should be safe, legal and rare. I don’t support late-term abortion out of convenience. I’m not talking about when there’s a medical emergency or anything like that. .”

Likewise, we cannot explicitly declare what Logan “would” do in the office. Again, this ad was written to avoid making it clear that Logan personally wants to ban abortions nationwide. But the ad certainly fails to acknowledge Logan’s repeated statements that he supports abortion rights in most cases.

House Majority PAC stands by its ads about Logan and Becker. Communications Director CJ Warnke argued in an email to CNN that both candidates have the support of anti-abortion extremists and will “wholeheartedly support Kevin McCarthy and the Republican leadership’s efforts to implement a national abortion ban.” try”.

Logan’s campaign general counsel Liz Kurantovich said in an email that Democrats are trying to take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to the campaign, although “it won’t work for George Logan.” “For Democrats, the troubling fact remains that George has long supported women’s right to choose,” she said.

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