Looking Back on Pro-Choice Advertising in the Midterm Elections

March 16, 2023

The New Media Firm was proud to partner with reproductive rights organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice America, Galvanize Action, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, and the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) to develop, test, and deliver messages that motivate people to support reproductive rights and turn out to vote for reproductive health champions on Election Day in 2022.

In the face of the Supreme Court leak and subsequent reversal of Roe v Wade, we worked with NARAL to motivate abortion rights supporters to call on Congress to pass the Women’s Health and Protection Act, the only federal legislative protection that could protect the right to abortion in the wake of the Dobbs decision. NARAL’s research showed that one of the biggest concerns of voters after Roe’s reversal was the potential backslide for other civil rights, such as LGBTQIA rights, gay marriage, and interracial marriage. With this focus, we aimed to demonstrate the domino effect Roe’s reversal could pose to our civil rights in a spot titled “Movements.”

With Galvanize Action, we worked to move the needle for white women in conservative-leaning states on reproductive rights. Through stories of everyday women, we focused on meeting them where they’re at and created persuasive content to encourage them to vote to protect freedom. Too often, we see abortion talked about in the media by way of unwanted pregnancies, but working with our client, we highlighted an emotional story of a woman who had a missed miscarriage. Approaching abortion through a very much-wanted pregnancy was a new and compelling way to examine the topic in states with crucial midterm elections.

Another client, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, wanted to remind Michiganders that Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a pro-choice champion and that she’d always stand up for reproductive freedom. We produced advertising to urge people to thank Gov. Whitmer for her support for abortion rights and recognize that if Roe was overturned, access to abortion would be at real risk because of Michigan’s 1931 abortion law. Our work also helped lay the groundwork for the successful ballot initiative that enshrined abortion access in Michigan’s state constitution and re-elect Gov. Whitmer in a tough election cycle.

Wisconsin was another major battleground state with a gubernatorial and Senate race up for grabs. We worked with A Better Wisconsin Together to produce more than 100 pieces of creative over the course of the election cycle – many of which were centered around Governor Tony Evers’ support for reproductive rights. This spot used a story from Marie, a Wisconsin woman who needed a medical abortion after suffering a miscarriage to prevent infection or other complications. As Marie said, “now that Roe v Wade has been overturned, it’s more important than ever that we have leaders like Tony Evers who will protect reproductive health care and freedom for women like me.” Exit polls show Evers won women by 13 points and white women by five points.

Through topics such as racial double standards in health care, medical abortions, missed miscarriages, and more, we use emotional stories to connect with, move, and motivate our target audiences to support Democratic pro-choice leaders in a tough election cycle.