“Texas Doesn’t Own Your Body. You Do”: Newsom Places Provocative Abortion Access Billboard Ads In 7 Red States

With Gavin Newsom currently holding a 27-point lead in the race for California’s top office, the Golden State governor — who continues to deny national political ambitions — is again leveraging his campaign war chest to confront Republican governors in their own states.

Today, Newsom unveiled three billboard ads that were to be were placed in seven Red States: Texas, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Oklahoma.

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“Just launched billboards in 7 of the most restrictive anti-abortion states that explain how women can access care–no matter where they live,” he wrote on Twitter, before championing the right to choose: “To any woman seeking an abortion in these anti-freedom states: CA will defend your right to make decisions about your own health.”

The ads tout California’s new abortion access website, abortion.CA.gov, which helps women understand the procedure, find providers and access financial aid.

Here is one of them:

Billboard campaign ad from CA Gov. Gavin Newsom - Credit: Newsom for CA Gov. via Twitter
Billboard campaign ad from CA Gov. Gavin Newsom - Credit: Newsom for CA Gov. via Twitter

Newsom for CA Gov. via Twitter

What’s more, Newsom’s post contains tweets at each of the states’ Republican governors with a photo of the applicable billboard and a message for each politician.

“@tatereeves the people of Mississippi deserve to know they have access to the care you are refusing to provide. This will be launching in your state today,” he wrote to Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, whose state law banning abortions after 15 weeks provided the basis for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Newsom’s move is among his latest outreach to voters in other states. Just a few hours after he announced the ads on Twitter, he called for an investigation into whether federal laws were broken when the governors of Texas and Florida opted to send migrants to other states, the most recent being Gov. Ron DeSantis’ who sent two planes to Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

“What [DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott] are doing isn’t clever, it’s cruel. I’m formally requesting the DOJ begin an immediate investigation into these inhumane efforts to use kids as political pawns,” Newsom wrote on Twitter Thursday.

Beyond the political implications, all this jockeying will likely provide a windfall of political ad spend to national and local media outlets.

Charter Communications chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia & Technology Conference yesterday that the contentious nature of the midterm elections in November would be good for business.

“It’s an election year, and that always makes you feel great. The more contentious the elections, the better, from an advertising perspective,” he observed. The national overlay of ambitious governors looking toward the 2024 presidential election while going directly at each other on state issues should only serve to juice that ad spend.

AdImpact, which is nonpartisan, projected today that nearly $10 billion in political ads will be bought during the 2022 election cycle.

That number would surpass ad spend for all previous midterm cycles — and presidential cycles too. It would top the record $9 billion spent on the 2020 elections and more than double the $4 billion showered on the 2018 midterms.

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