NPR logo "The Culture Of Death" And Other Last-Minute Volleys

North Dakota

"The Culture Of Death" And Other Last-Minute Volleys

With the campaign din becoming ever more shrill in these last hours, opponents of Barack Obama are hoping an anti-abortion message can cut through to sympathetic voters.

The National Pro-Life Alliance put up this ad in New Mexico, targeting both Obama and the Democratic candidate for Senate, Rep. Tom Udall. The ad recounts an incident in which two teenagers dumped their newborn baby in a Dumpster. It occurred 12 years ago in Delaware. The urgently delivered voiceover likens it to partial-birth abortion, and notes that Udall and Obama "voted to continue this grisly procedure." The group used identical language in Senate ads as far back as 2000.

The Virginia-based alliance started in 1993 partially in response to the election of Bill Clinton, and now has 600,000 members, said its president Martin Fox, a Catholic priest in Ohio. The group is currently pushing legislation that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Common Sense Issues, which pushed for Mike Huckabee during the Republican primaries and then backed out of the presidential race, recently jumped back in with an ad attacking Obama on abortion.

Running in the newly competitive states of North Dakota and Montana, the ad shows footage of Obama saying that the question of when a fetus gets human rights is "above my pay grade." That line has become one of Obama's biggest faux pas, seized upon by pro-life activists. The ad includes an interview with Bernard Nathanson, a former abortion doctor and founding member of what is now NARAL Pro-Choice America, who became an outspoken anti-abortion activist in the 1970s. He calls legalized abortion "the greatest mistake this nation has ever conceived."

Tying Obama to the "culture of death," after the jump...

Family Research Council Action's PAC launched an ad in Virginia, with a more bipartisan approach. It quotes the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a respected Democrat, as saying partial-birth abortion is "too close to infanticide." The ad contrasts that with Obama, who it says voted against a ban on the practice. "The culture of death has a good friend in Barack Obama," it says.

FRC PAC also has radio ads supporting Republican senators in Mississippi, Kentucky and Georgia (listen here). And today, on the eve of election day, FRC Action placed this anti-Obama ad in eight Ohio newspapers.

Pro-choice forces are active as well. Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America each spent more than $200,000 in the last week, mostly on mailers, phone calls and canvassing for Obama and other Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Then again, National Right To Life spent more than half a million in the last week to help McCain and other Republicans.