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Planned Parenthood Votes rolls out six-figure ad buy targeting Johnson on abortion

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)
Greg Nash
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) arrives to the Capitol for a series of nomination votes on Thursday, September 8, 2022.

Planned Parenthood’s political spending arm announced on Monday that it’s rolling out a six-figure ad buy targeting Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on abortion with five weeks left until the midterms. 

“A law from 1849 has made abortion inaccessible in Wisconsin. Don’t like it? Ron Johnson says ‘You can move.’ But we’re not going anywhere. We’re fighting back because our future depends on it,” a narrator says in the group’s first 30-second ad, called “Fight Back.”

“The right to abortion shouldn’t be up for debate, and it definitely shouldn’t be up to Ron Johnson. We deserve a senator who understands us. One who believes in Wisconsin and will fight to restore our rights, not take them away. Vote for Mandela Barnes by Nov. 8.”

The ad refers to comments that Johnson made back in 2019 in which he discussed his disagreement with the 1973 landmark Supreme Court ruling that established abortion as a constitutional right.

“We should have let that process play out democratically, state by state,” the senator said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The fact of the matter is, you allow it that way, if you don’t like the result in your state that you currently reside in, you can move.”

Johnson is considered one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection this cycle, and Democrats and activists have honed in on abortion in the push to oust him.

“Abortion rights are on the ballot in Wisconsin, where people are suffering under Ron Johnson’s failed leadership and an archaic 173-year-old law is forcing people to flee their own state for basic heath care,” Jenny Lawson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, said in a statement.

“The stakes couldn’t be higher, and the choice couldn’t be clearer: Wisconsinites deserve a senator who believes in them and will fight to protect their rights, not take them away.”

Meanwhile, Republicans believe the economy and decades-high inflation will weigh more heavily on voters’ minds.

Republicans have also sought to paint Barnes as soft on crime and too progressive for the swing state’s voters.  

Recent polling shows Johnson leading Barnes. An AARP poll released last month, conducted by Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research, found Johnson with 51 percent support compared to Barnes’s 46 percent.

The Hill has reached out to Johnson’s campaign for comment. 

Tags 2022 midterm elections Abortion abortion rights Mandela Barnes planned parenthood Planned Parenthood Ron Johnson Ron Johnson Wisconsin Senate race Wisconsin Senate race
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