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Republicans fight abortion backlash with ads and stealth website changes

“I’m personally pro-life, but I believe we can all agree on a policy that reflects our common values,” Ronchetti says in the ad, saying Lujan Grisham was “extreme” on abortion. “We can end late-term abortion, while protecting access to contraception and health care.”

Ads like this come as Democratic groups have poured tens of millions into television campaigns focused on abortion – including making it a central theme that propelled Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan to victory the week latest in a closely watched special election.

Ronchetti ran his ad for about two weeks in mid-July, spending $60,000 on it, according to data from ad tracking firm AdImpact. The day the Supreme Court rendered its Dobbs decision, Ronchetti issued a statement saying he believed allowing abortion up to 15 weeks – with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother thereafter – was “a very reasonable position that most in New Mexico will support regardless of party affiliation.”

Yet Democrats keep hammering him, saying he’s not being honest. A recent ad from Planned Parenthood Votes says “the real Ronchetti would deprive a woman of the right to control her own body,” linking him to strident anti-abortion groups like Right To Life that backed his Senate campaign last cycle, in during which Ronchetti’s website described calling him “strongly pro-life” and said “life should be protected – at all stages”.

Some other Republicans have decided to decentralize opposition to abortion to other parts of their campaign. Republican Blake Masters posted a video on Twitter last week attacking the senator. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) as extreme on abortion for supporting no limits, say in the video that “I support a ban on very late and partial-birth abortion”.

But Masters’ own website once read that he supported a ‘federal personality law’ and declared him ‘100% pro-life’ – lines that have since been deleted from its site, it said. first reported NBC News. His campaign website, under the subhead “protect babies, don’t let them be killed,” now says “Democrats are lying about my views on abortion” and says Masters would support a federal ban on abortion. third trimester abortion.

Masters previously told the Arizona Republic that he believed a “personality law” would provide the basis for banning third-trimester abortions, while some proponents of the idea say it would ban all abortions. He also called Arizona’s 15-week abortion ban a “reasonable solution” in the interview with Republic.

Another stark example of website scrubbing was uncovered recently in Michigan by The Detroit News. State Senator Tom Barrett, the GOP nominee challenging the Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin in an upscale neighborhood, removed a section of its campaign site that touted its opposition to abortion.

Barrett told the Detroit News he doesn’t know why the website was updated but his stance hasn’t changed: he still supports banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. .

Still, he’s far from the only other contender changing his online footprint.

Republican Christian Castelli removed his anti-abortion stance from his site after winning a primary in May to face Rep. Kathy Manning (DN.C.). In his second round against Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Republican Tyler Kistner makes no mention of abortion access on his website — although his 2020 site describes him as “100% pro-life.”

In a newly created battlefield district of Colorado, Republican Barb Kirkmeyer listed defending “the sanctity of life” on a page on her website, according to an archived version of the page on July 5. An older version also included a video of his speech at the March for Life 2022 event. Both references now appear to be gone.

Yet the issue has become so prominent in the campaigns of some Republicans that they are cutting ads responding to Democrats on abortion. Tiffany Smiley, a Republican who challenges the senator. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ran a pair of ads over the past week emphasizing that she’s “pro-life” — but saying she wouldn’t support a federal ban on abortion.

“As an OB-GYN triage nurse, I’ve seen heartache and tears. I’m pro-life, but to be clear, I will oppose a federal abortion ban,” Smiley says in an ad that began airing on Monday, “It’s high time we stopped treating pregnancy as a disease that prevents women from getting a job or a raise.”

In Connecticut, Republican Bob Stefanowski, who is gearing up for a rematch with Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont after narrowly losing to him in 2018, is going one step further. “In the gubernatorial race, Ned Lamont and Bob Stefanowski are pro-choice. The difference is affordability,” says the narrator of a Stefanowski ad, before attacking the incumbent on the economy.

And some Republicans who haven’t moderated abortion have further downplayed it on the trail.

Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano, the GOP gubernatorial candidate there, has championed efforts to ban abortion statewide, taking the most vocal positions among the Republican primary field. . But since then, the Pennsylvania-based press has repeatedly noted that the candidate isn’t bringing up the subject as much.

On the daytime deer was knocked downMastriano said “the other side wants to distract us,” adding that “people in this area and in my part of the state across the border are struggling to make ends meet and they don’t don’t care about these problems there”.

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