As a counterpoint to the cheers for reproductive freedom reverberating throughout the Democratic National Convention, the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List is spending $42,000 to run a television ad Thursday night that highlights President Barack Obama's voting record on abortion.
The ad, which will run in the Charlotte, N.C. media market on all major networks during the timeframe of Obama's speech at the DNC, stars Melissa Ohden, a woman who claims she survived an attempted abortion. "Many children, more than you might think, actually survive failed abortions and are born alive," she says in the ad. "I know because I'm one of them."
Ohden then highlights Obama's voting record on abortion during his time in the Illinois State Senate, when he opposed legislation that would have defined an aborted fetus that showed vital signs as a "born alive infant," even if doctors believed it could not survive. The doctor, in that case, would have to call another doctor into the room to try to rescue the fetus.
"When he was in the Illinois State Senate, Barack Obama voted to deny basic constitutional protections for babies born alive from an abortion not once but four times," Ohden says. "I know it's by the grace of God I'm alive today, if only to ask this question: is this the kind of leadership that would move us forward? That would discard the weakest among us?"
The ad previously aired across Missouri following an uproar over Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) comments about "legitimate rape."
Anti-abortion activists often point to Obama's votes on the "born alive" bill as evidence of his "extreme" position on abortion.
Obama said in 2001 that he opposed the bill because it was "designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman" to have an abortion, rather than to protect viable fetuses. "I think it's important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births," he said, "because if these are children that are being born alive, I have confidence that a doctor who's in that room is going to make sure they're looked after."