The ad, from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, invokes two of the most hotly debated measures of the last legislative session: the so-called personhood bill, which would have given full legal rights to embryos; and a bill that would have required women to get a vaginal ultrasound before an abortion.
Allen, the Republican former governor and senator, supported the ill-fated personhood bill, which critics said could have outlawed birth-control methods that prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.
But Allen declined to take a position on the ultrasound bill, which eventually was amended to require a less invasive, abdominal form of the test.
“It just seems like such an infringement on our lives,” a woman says in the ad as headlines related to the personhood and ultrasound bills flash on the screen. “How dare they step into my life that way. It’s none of their business.”
The ad also criticizes Allen for not taking a position on the federal Paycheck Fairness Act.
Across the country in the presidential contest and down-ticket races, Democrats have pushed the idea that Republicans have been waging a “war on women,” in part by restricting access to abortion and birth control. Democrats are hoping the theme will play especially well in Virginia, a key battleground state, thanks to host of hot-button anti-abortion bills taken up by the General Assembly this year.
Republicans in general, and Allen himself, have contended that Democrats have concocted a faux “war” to distract voters from what they say are the real “women’s issues”: jobs and the economy.
Allen faces Democratic former governor Timothy M. Kaine.
“Tim Kaine’s Washington allies continue to demonstrate how desperate they are to talk about anything but the jobs and economic issues Virginia women face,” Emily Davis, a spokeswoman for Allen, said via email.
“Women have been among the hardest hit in the Kaine-Obama economy. The poverty rate for women is the highest it’s been in 17 years, hundreds of thousands of women having lost their jobs, and many more have given up looking for work. George Allen has a proven record of working to create over 300,000 jobs, fighting for affordable, quality health care and education for women and he will bring those positive solutions to Washington.”
This story has been updated.