NARAL, SBA List, and the Condompocalypse
This week NARAL launched what may be the most hysterical – in both meanings of the term – ad of the cycle. Given the strong efforts of the Wendy Davis campaign in Texas, this is no small accomplishment. NARAL’s ad claims that Colorado’s Republican Senate candidate Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) 70% would “ban” contraceptives, leading to a run on condoms that would leave Colorado citizens roaming the city looking for the few remaining prophylactics and then having mood-ruining conversations about Pell Grants and Climate Change. Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s the ad (and thanks to The Federalist for providing the transcript if you prefer).
This is, of course, the same Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) 70% who supports making birth control pills available over the counter without a prescription. Politics ain’t beanbag. But there are not enough Pinocchios in all the fact checkers in America to show how false this ad is. A sympathetic fact checker could spin like a Dervish and still not come up with a way to save this one. It is a cynical ad that illustrates that NARAL thinks Colorado woman are so gullible as to believe that the sky is green if it says so. It isn’t “truthy” or “nuanced.” NARAL’s condompocalypse ad is just a bald lie.
Someone lied in a political campaign. Dog bites man.
But NARAL has spent much of the past year hammering its pro-life adversary, the Susan B. Anthony List, as a liar. When the SBA List argued that an Ohio law that permitted government officials to prevent political speech the government deemed to be false violated the First Amendment, NARAL repeatedly claimed that the SBA List was fighting for a “right to lie” in its political ads.
SBA List was fighting censorship by a government truth commission, not for any “right to lie,” when it said that votes for Obamacare were votes to fund abortion. Its claim was demonstrably true. Indeed, the Government Accountability Office has now confirmed the truth of SBA List’s argument about abortion funding in Obamacare. And to NARAL’s chagrin, SBA List won a unanimous decision from the Supreme Court and then a federal court decision against the constitutionality of Ohio’s truth commission.
Despite SBA List’s court victories and the clear evidence that SBA List was telling the truth, NARAL has continued to claim that SBA List lies in its political ads.
I don’t expect consistency – or even shame – from NARAL. But hopefully someone inside NARAL’s headquarters is at least cognizant of the fact that but for the First Amendment victory by their adversaries at SBA List they could be facing a Truth Commission of their own. And unlike SBA List they could not cite truth in their defense.
Casey Mattox (@CaseyMattoxADF) is Senior Counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.