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Another Take On Compassion

The CBS News Political Unit is tracking the latest campaign commercials. Jane Ruvelson takes a look at a new Planned Parenthood ad, which discusses George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism."

The Ad: On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood released its first ad of the 2000 presidential cycle. Compassion will run on national cable stations before, during, and after the Republican convention, July 31 through August 3. It is part of their $5 million campaign to elect pro-abortion rights - and defeat anti-abortion rights - candidates this November.

Audio: Spokesperson: Every year, Planned Parenthood gives millions of women and families the facts they need to make responsible choices. That's why you need the facts about George W. Bush. Bush calls himself compassionate, but would restrict funding for family planning and put a gag-rule on doctors. He agrees that he's the most anti-abortion governor in America and supports a constitutional amendment that would take away our right to choose. Does that sound compassionate or responsible? Get the facts and decide for yourself.

Visual: A spokeswoman, professionally dressed, addresses the camera as she walks past posters of photos and news quotes. As she introduces Planned Parenthood, the posters behind the spokeswoman display pictures of women and families. When she talks about Bush’s record, she pauses briefly before the posters highlighting Bush’s quotes from newspapers and a television interview.

Fact Check: Planned Parenthood presents Bush’s positions from their perspective, with statements likely to be challenged by Bush and others in the pro-life community. In Compassion, the spokeswoman says, "(Bush) would restrict funding for family planning;" however, Bush would actually increase the amount spent on adoption services and abstinence education, both components of family planning. What Bush would restrict is the federal funding of abortion. Also, though Bush supports the Republican Party’s platform, which calls for a Constitutional amendment banning abortion, he says he doesn’t consider the amendment a priority and won’t push for its passage.

The Strategy: Planned Parenthood has determined that pro-abortion rights, conservative women will not support George Bush once they’re presented with the above description of Bush’s position on family planning issues. If their ad campaign is successful, Planned Parenthood believes these pro--abortion rights conservatives "could turn this election."

Lake Snell Perry & Associates, pollster to Planned Parenthood and the Democratic National Committee, has named this group of swing voters "compassionate conservative women." They are defined as Republicans and Independents who are self-identified conservatives, have a favorable opinion of Bush and Congressional Republicansand consider themselves pro-choice.

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