A new ad highlighting abortion survivors prior to the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in a case that could reverse longstanding precedent on the issue.
The ad features Amy Miles saying, “As somebody who survived an abortion, I would want to tell the Supreme Court that my life mattered.”
The ad launched this week and will run through next week on broadcast and cable networks in the Washington, D.C., media market, and is part of a larger effort by anti-abortion groups to make their case before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Dobbs has been depicted by both sides as an opportunity for the court to radically alter standards set by landmark decisions in Roe and Casey.
The ad comes from the anti-abortion organization Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List and is part of a $10 million campaign, which includes $2.5 million for television and digital ads designed to highlight the humanity of life in the womb.
Other SBA List ads details a woman who was adopted, a doctor who regrets performing abortions, and a physician who cares for pregnant women and their children.
Abortion Survivors Network (ASN) founder Melissa Ohden asked: “Isn’t something wrong in our society when Amy, myself, and other abortion survivors are only alive today because an abortion failed to take our lives, and our government failed to protect us?”
Dobbs’ 15-week cutoff is somewhat arbitrary and in doing so, affords itself various justifications for prohibiting the procedure. The court’s opinion will be hard to predict but it could offer clues in its decision on Texas’ heartbeat bill, which focuses on the presence of a fetal heartbeat around six weeks.
For that case, ASN filed an amicus brief in October in which it stated that survivors “have a vested interest in the Court’s position in this case as they owe their very lives to having been born alive, by accident – the products of failed abortion attempts.”
It also targets abortion providers, claiming that the “abortion industry prefers the euphemistic terms ‘termination of pregnancy’ and ‘products of conception.'”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., derided Mississippi’s law in September alongside an amicus brief from both chambers of Congress.
“Mississippi’s draconian abortion ban – one in a heartbreaking and nationwide assault against women’s freedoms – is unconstitutional,” Pelosi said. “As the brief makes clear, the constitutional right to an abortion has been resoundingly affirmed.”
The ad will likely amplify the intensely personal nature of this debate, which often features testimonies from women who faced crisis pregnancies.
“Choosing to have an abortion was the hardest decision I had ever made,” said Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., who claimed she was raped. Recalling her pre-Roe abortion, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said “I was one of the lucky ones” and noted that some died in back-alley procedures.
Around that time, Women’s March attendees protested in favor of abortion access and had a testy encounter with anti-abortion activists at the Supreme Court.
When asked about the march, Ohden said: “They fail to convince me how I have the right to an abortion but I was denied the basic right to live when I was aborted and accidentally born alive. I am more than a choice.”
“As an abortion survivor my rights would have ended before I had a chance to know I had them,” said Denisha Workizer, who says she survived a chemical abortion and dilation and curettage procedure. “When do your rights begin and my rights end?”