Newsom launches abortion ads in Republican states to fight ‘war on women’

<span>California’s governor, Gavin Newsom.</span><span>Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images</span>
California’s governor, Gavin Newsom.Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, is launching a series of new advertisements in Republican states targeting Republican efforts to criminalize having an abortion and “a war on travel” for reproductive care.

The first advertisement by Campaign for Democracy, Newsom’s political action committee (Pac), will air this week in Tennessee, where lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it illegal for anyone who helps a minor obtain an abortion without permission from their parents. Anyone found guilty of the offense could face between three and 15 years in prison.

Newsom’s ad opens with a young woman handcuffed to a hospital bed as she cries out for help. “Trump Republicans want to criminalize young women who travel to receive the reproductive care they need,” a voiceover says. “Don’t let them hold Tennessee women hostage.”

Newsom unveiled the ad on NBC News’s Meet the Press on Sunday. The Pac plans to air them in other states such as Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma that are considering similar measures.

“I worry about the United States supreme court that, again, set the tone and tenor for the debate we’re having today. And again, it’s not just a war on travel. It’s not just a war on reproductive healthcare. It’s also a war on women more broadly defined, including as we know, contraceptives,” Newsom said.

Trump has reportedly expressed private support for an abortion ban after 16 weeks of pregnancy, according to the New York Times. “Know what I like about 16?” Trump told one of these people, who was given anonymity to describe a private conversation. “It’s even. It’s four months,” he has said, according to the times.

Newsom was skeptical Trump would stick to 16 weeks. “He supports a national ban. And if you’re Lindsey Graham and others, they’re going to bring that down well below 16. He will sign a national ban,” he said on Meet the Press.

Republicans this week have been scrambling to articulate a position on IVF after a ruling from the Alabama supreme court said that frozen embryos are children. At least three clinics in the state have stopped providing IVF services.

Trump on Friday said he supported IVF and urged Alabama Republicans to “act quickly to find an immediate solution to preserve” it. The National Republican Senate Committee, the campaign arm of senate Republicans, has also urged GOP candidates to support IVF.

The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, a Republican who leads a state where abortion is essentially banned and has implemented some of the nation’s harshest anti-abortion laws, also treaded carefully when he was asked on Sunday how Texas would respond to the Alabama ruling.

“President Trump put out a statement on this and I think that is a goal that we all kind of want to achieve. That is, we want to make it easier for people to have babies, not make it harder,” he said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. “The IVF process is a way of giving life to even more babies.”

Byron Donalds, a Florida Republican who is an ally of Trump, said on Sunday he could support a bill with national protections for IVF.

“Like any type of bill that gets drafted on Capitol Hill, I want to see the devil in the details. But, yes, I could – I feel I could broadly support that. Because, like I said, IVF is something that is so critical to a lot of couples. It helps them breed great families. Our country needs that,” he said on Meet the Press.