The group behind a viral abortion rights ad is back with a new spot in Ohio and Pennsylvania focused on the hypothetical rape of a 12-year-old girl

A still from a Progress Action Fund ad
A still from a Progress Action Fund ad showing a fictional 12 year old unable to receive an abortion.Progress Action Fund/Insider
  • A Democratic super PAC has a new provocative abortion rights ad it's going to air in key states.

  • Progress Action Fund's spot features a fictional 12-year-old's inability to receive an abortion after a rape.

  • The ad will air in Ohio and Pennsylvania where abortion hangs over two key off-year elections.

A liberal group is out with a new abortion rights ad that underlines just how far advocates will go to pummel anti-abortion opponents after a string of victories across the nation.

Progress Action Fund, a Democratic super PAC, released a new ad on Tuesday that covers a fictional father's anger over his 12-year-old daughter's inability to receive an abortion after being raped.

"I can't believe this, my daughter was raped. And you're not going to do anything?" the fictional father asks a doctor, who explains that such a procedure would be illegal.

A generic actor playing a Republican congressman then responds, "He's right. I'm your Republican congressman. We've banned abortions. No exceptions."

The Democratic group previously made waves with a provocative ad that showed a fictional "Republican congressman" watching a couple as they tried to have sex.

The PAC's new ad will air in Ohio before a pivotal November vote on whether the state should enshrine basic abortion protections in its constitution. Ohio Republicans lost an effort to kneecap that drive by failing to make it harder to amend the state constitution.

The ad will also air in Pennsylvania, where abortion is looming over an off-year state Supreme Court election. Joe Jacobson, Progress Action Fund's founder, told Insider the group is splitting an initial $200,000 buy evenly between the states but that could change. Like its predecessor, the new ad appears primed to generate free media attention.

Since the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, abortion rights advocates have won a string of victories, expanding protections in states such as Michigan and beating back further restrictions in states like Kentucky. Republicans appear unable to find a way to address the issue in a successful way, a struggle that was behind their lackluster performance during the 2022 midterm elections. NBC News recently reported that Senate Republicans were trying to find a new anti-abortion short-hand given worrisome polling about the term "pro-life."

The issue of exceptions has been a major sticking point in post-Roe proposals. Republicans dating back to Ronald Reagan supported exceptions on abortion bans in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. States have begun to move away from offering the three exceptions as some Republicans argue a person cannot be against abortion unless they oppose it in virtually all instances, including in the case of rape.

Ohio's virtual six-week ban, which does not have exceptions for rape and incest, has not gone into effect amid a protracted legal fight. 

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