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Newsom attacks conservative abortion policies in new ads in red states

The first ad officially airs Monday in Tennessee

Published: February 26, 2024 3:27pm

California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday launched a six-figure ad buy that will air in several conservative states this week and targets their abortion policies, including a ban on traveling for abortions.

The first ad, which will officially air in Tennessee on Monday, was unveiled Sunday and targets a GOP state representative’s effort to outlaw “abortion-trafficking” which refers to transporting a minor across state lines for the procedure without parental permission.

If passed, the law could carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

The 30-second ad shows a young woman, who appears to be played by an actor, looking visibly upset as she’s handcuffed to a gurney, and calling for help.  

“Trump Republicans want to criminalize young women who travel to get the reproductive help they need,” a narrator said in the video. “Don’t let them hold Tennessee women hostage.”

The video then directs viewers to sign a petition on a “right to travel” website.

In a segment of "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Newsom claimed that conservative states such as Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma are also trying to ban adult women from skirting state law by going to states where abortion is legal to have the procedure.

“These guys are not just restricting the rights, self-determination to bear a child for a young woman,” Newsom said. “But they’re also determining their fate as it relates to their future in life by saying they can’t even travel.”

Abortion is considered a top-tier campaign topic for Democrats this year, in local, congressional and presidential elections.

Newsom’s latest ad comes as he faces a new recall effort to remove him as governor – the fifth time such a feat has been attempted on him. This effort is fueled by criticism over the state’s budget deficit, and concerns the governor is preparing his own presidential bid.

“Governor Newsom has abandoned the state to advance his Presidential ambitions, leaving behind a $68 Billion budget deficit and a public safety, immigration and education crisis,” organizers with Rescue California wrote on their website.

Newsom has repeatedly denied any plans to seek the presidential nomination in 2024, but is considered a top contender for the Democratic nomination in 2028. 

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