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Forbes Plays Pro-Life Card

The CBS News Political Unit is tracking the political commercials of the presidential hopefuls. Jane Ruvelson analyzes the latest effort of Republican Steve Forbes.


The Ad: Pro-Life, Steve Forbes' first ad about abortion, began running this week in Iowa. The 30-second commercial comes a day after Forbes criticized front-runner George W. Bush for "hedging" on abortion-related issues.

Audio: Woman No. 1: "When I saw my child's ultrasound, I mean, there was my tiny child's heart beating, arms waving."

Woman No. 2: "I remember thinking, what would she grow up to be?"

Woman No. 3:"If someone kills a pet it's called a crime, if someone aborts a child it's called a choice."

Woman No. 1: "I mean, just because someone doesn't want them, doesn't mean that these children aren't still alive."

Steve Forbes:"I want to protect the rights of all Americans, including the unborn, but I need your support to make this happen."

Visual: The ad features three, 30-something women, presumably mothers, speaking directly to the camera. An ultrasound picture of a fetus is shown the second time Woman No. 1 speaks. Forbes closes the piece with an earnest appeal.

Fact Check: No inaccuracies.

The Strategy: Pro-Life is a direct appeal to Iowa's social conservatives, who made up 75 percent of caucus attendees in 1996. Seeking to capture more than the 10 percent vote he received then, Forbes has moved significantly to the right on abortion and other issues. He now vies with Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes for Christian conservative support, and has distinguished himself from Bush by denouncing his opponent's failure to support a hard-line pro-life policy.

In this week's Michigan debate, Forbes challenged Bush to pledge to appoint only anti-abortion judges, select an anti-abortion running mate and preserve the GOP's anti-abortion platform plank. Bush didn't bite.

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