By Elise Viebeck - 08/28/12 04:13 PM EDT
A leading anti-abortion-rights group is seeking to change the conversation in Missouri with an ad campaign slamming President Obama.
The ad paints Obama as extreme on abortion and comes in response to a recent controversy involving Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R), who brought abortion to the national forefront by saying that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely become pregnant.
The Susan B. Anthony List said its new campaign seeks to balance the conversation.
"In light of the recent national discussion over abortion, it’s important Americans know the President’s best-kept secret: his extreme record on abortion," said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement.
The group's ad blasts Obama for opposing the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act as a state legislator in Illinois. The bill sought to create legal protections for any aborted fetus that shows signs of life.
"Is this the kind of leadership that will move us forward?" says the ad's speaker, a woman who says she survived an abortion. "Leadership that would discard the least and the weakest among us?"
Obama came under similar fire from anti-abortion-rights groups during the 2008 campaign. He defended his opposition to the Illinois bill, arguing that the measure sought to undermine Roe v. Wade by giving rights to pre-viable fetuses.
Groups that support abortion rights also said that a companion bill would have harmed doctors by making them criminally liable for any fetus too underdeveloped to survive outside the womb. Abortion-rights opponents say the two measures were separate.
The SBA List's ad buy in Missouri is worth $150,000, according to the group. The ad does not mention Akin's Democratic opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.).