References to abortion in TV political advertising surged after Politico published a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion last week that would overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a report published Thursday by the Wesleyan Media Projectas the possible rollback of nationwide abortion access sends an already-charged issue back to the political fore.

Key Facts

- Advertisement -

The proportion of pro-Democratic House ads that mentioned abortion rose from 6.2% before May 3—when Politico published the draft—to 22% on and after that date, while the share of pro-Republican House ads that referenced abortion rose from 13.5% to 14.5% over the same period, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks political ads and is led by government and political science professors from Wesleyan University and other schools.

The effect was also dramatic in Democratic Senate contests, where the proportion of ads mentioning abortion rose more than tenfold from 0.6% to 6.1%, but the share of Republican Senate ads dropped slightly from 12.2% to 11.8%, according to the report.

The percentage of Republican gubernatorial ads that mentioned abortion more than doubled from 4.4% to 10% after the draft ruling was leaked, and the percentage of Democratic gubernatorial ads increased moderately from 10.3% to 12.8%, the study found.

The Wesleyan Media Project analyzed data gathered by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group pertaining to ads from January 6, 2021, to May 8, 2022.

Credit: /

- Advertisement -