March for Life Action has launched a public awareness campaign through digital and television outlets saying that candidates running for public office who promise to expand women's access to abortion "are out of touch with American voters."
"With this ad, we encourage Americans to take a deeper look at their candidates," said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, in a statement on Sept. 22, the day the campaign began.
"Politicians who claim to be 'pro-choice,' essentially advocate for abortion-on-demand up until the time of birth, paid for by your taxpayer dollars," she said. "This radical position is out of touch with the large majority of Americans."
March for Life Action is the political arm of the Washington-based March for Life organization, which organizes the annual march and rally in the nation's capital each January to mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
The first phase of its ad campaign was to run Sept. 22 through Sept. 26 as a lead-in to the first in a series of presidential debates. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump were to face off at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York., at 9 p.m. (Eastern time) Sept. 26. "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt was scheduled to moderate the debate.
Without using actors, the ad features six women from different political and professional backgrounds. It will run during major network programs including "Madame Secretary," "Today Show," "CBS This Morning," "60 Minutes" and other major programs. It will be seen in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, a key battleground state in the presidential election; in Pittsburgh and Scranton, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; and Washington.
The campaign cites results of a Marist Poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus that were released in late July that found Americans strongly support abortion restrictions.
"The majority of Americans in favor of abortion restrictions has been consistently around 8 in 10 for the better part of a decade," said Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll at the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, New York. "Though self-identification as pro-life or 'pro-choice' can vary substantially from year to year, the support for restrictions is quite stable."
Though 51 percent of Americans say they are "pro-choice," the poll showed again that about 8 in 10 Americans support substantial restrictions on abortion and would limit it to be performed within the first three months of pregnancy. This includes 62 percent of those who identify as "pro-choice," 85 percent of African-American and 84 percent of Latinos.
"With an overwhelming majority of Americans in favor of substantial restrictions on abortion, it's time for politicians to change the fact that current U.S. law does not reflect the hearts and minds of its own people regarding life," Mancini said.
She added, "As we state in the ad, it's time for our voices to be heard and the extremism on this issue to end," said Mancini.
The Democratic Party platform states one of the party's goals is to overturn the federal Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds for virtually all Medicaid abortions.