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California and the West | See How They Spin: Behind
the TV Pitch

Boxer, Fong Ads Square Off on Abortion

October 16, 1998|Jenifer Warren

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and her Republican opponent, state Treasurer Matt Fong, began airing dueling TV commercials on abortion this week. Here's a look at the spots.

* Boxer Ad: "Who Decides"

Narrator: Since 1993, extremists in Congress have tried over 100 times to restrict a woman's right to choose. Now they're behind senate candidate Matt Fong's campaign. Matt Fong is not pro-choice. He thinks government should decide. That's why we need to keep Barbara Boxer in the Senate. She's led the fight to protect our right to choose.

Boxer: I'll always stand up for a woman's right to choose. We simply can't go back to the days when government told women what to do.

* Fong Ad: "Abortion"

Fong: I was adopted from an orphanage when I was five months old. My birth mother's choice gave me the chance to be part of a loving family. My opponent says I oppose a woman's right to choose. She is not telling the truth. I respect a woman's right to choose in the first trimester. Unlike my opponent, I oppose indiscriminate late-term abortions. I believe in parental consent, and I strongly support making adoptions easier and less expensive.

Narrator: Matt Fong. A good man, a great senator.

*

Analysis: Fong has called the U.S. Supreme Court decision guaranteeing a woman's right to an abortion "wrongly decided." But the treasurer has said he supports--though his ad uses the ambiguous word "respects"--a woman's right to choose an abortion in the first trimester. On other points, Fong is clear: He opposes government funding of abortions and believes minors should have parental consent.

Boxer is an outspoken defender of abortion rights. She wrote the Family Planning and Reproductive Act, which would prohibit congressional restrictions on abortion. And she routinely earns a 100% rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League. Boxer supports a ban on late-term abortions but would grant an exception for mothers whose health is in jeopardy.

She opposes laws requiring minors to obtain parental consent for an abortion, but would support a requirement that underage girls get adult permission of some sort.

Boxer's ad uses images of House Speaker Newt Gingrich, trying to link Fong with so-called "extremists" on abortion. Fong's ad seeks to blunt that by using his personal experience--the fact that he was adopted--to explain his position.

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