California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Sunday released a new ad digging into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) six-week ban on abortion as the two governors prepare to debate one another later this month.
The ad, released by Newsom and the Campaign for Democracy PAC, railed against the criminalization of women who receive abortions and the doctors who perform such procedures in the Sunshine State.
“WANTED. By order of Gov. Ron DeSantis. Any woman who has an abortion after six weeks and any doctor who gives her care will be guilty of a felony,” the narrator said.
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The ad showed a graphic of a fake “wanted” poster showing photos of a doctor and presumed patient, with the words “Woman guilty of abortion. Doctor guilty of aiding abortion.”
The graphic included a description of Florida’s six-week abortion ban that explained the “punishment” is a “felony mandating up to 5 years in prison.”
“Abortion after six weeks will be punishable by up to five years in prison,” the narrator continued. “Even though many women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks. That’s not freedom. That’s Ron DeSantis’s Florida.”
DeSantis’s campaign responded to the ad Sunday, calling it “sheer desperation” from Newsom in a post on the DeSantis War Room account.
“If this ad is any indication Newsom will spend the debate lying about @RonDeSantis’ record to deflect from his own failures,” the post said. “Speaking of freedom: If you can’t walk down the street without fear of being accosted, or stepping on a used needle or human feces, you aren’t very ‘free.’ For this reason and much more, people are fleeing California at a rate never before seen in history. And they are moving to the free state of Florida.”
DeSantis signed the six-week ban into law in April, though it is currently being blocked amid pending legal challenges. The ban would prohibit abortions in the state after six weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for mothers whose lives are at risk and for abortions up to 15 weeks for pregnancies caused by rape, incest or human trafficking.
The law would also make it a third-degree felony for physicians or anyone who “actively participate(s) in” an abortion in violation of the ban and prohibits state funds from being used to help a woman get an abortion in another state.
DeSantis has previously said he would not support punishments for women who violate the abortion bans.
Florida currently bans abortions after 15 weeks.
DeSantis, who is currently running in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, has stopped short of saying whether he would sign a federal six-week abortion ban, instead stressing he wants to be a “pro-life president.”
Newsom and DeSantis are expected to participate in a televised debate on Nov. 30 that will be moderated by Fox News host Sean Hannity.
The California governor has repeatedly said he will not run for the White House in 2024, even if President Biden does not pursue a reelection bid. Newsom, however, has taken a number of steps to boost his public profile, prompting speculation he could be eyeing the White House in the future.
Updated at 2:49 pm.