An abortion rights group is launching its campaign to elect Democrat Al Gore with an ad focused on the president's power to influence the issue through the Supreme Court.
The ad by the National Abortion Rights and Reproductive Action League will begin airing Wednesday in the Washington area.
''George W. Bush would nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe vs. Wade,'' an announcer says in the ad, as photos of the court and a banging gavel appear on screen. ``He even supports a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion.''
A Bush spokesman would not comment on the ad's overall message -- that electing the Republican would jeopardize the landmark Supreme Court decision.
''He will appoint justices to the court who will strictly interpret the Constitution and he will seek to bring people together on areas where there is agreement,'' said Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer.
NARAL predicts the next president will nominate at least two justices to the court.
Kate Michelman, president of group, said many people believe the right to a legal abortion is secure. She said the campaign's goal is to persuade them they are wrong.
The organization also was releasing a booklet on other ways a president can affect abortion rights, including nominating other federal judges and the secretary of Health and Human Services, and signing legislation. Future ads may focus on these others powers, Michelman said.
''There is going to be no right to choose in a decade if we elect George Bush president,'' she said, contending that the conservative wing of the Republican Party will not let him nominate anyone to the Supreme Court who is not firmly anti-abortion.
Moving toward this fall, NARAL plans to concentrate on a handful of states that are important to the presidential contest and that have key congressional races. It plans phone calls to identify key voters _ mostly Republicans and independents who support abortion rights _ and work to get them to the polls. The organization also plans TV and radio ads in those states.
On the other side of the issue, the National Right to Life Committee endorsed Bush during the presidential primaries and ran ads supporting his campaign.
LAURA MECKLER, May 2, 2000, (AP) via NewsEdge Corporation
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