The Senate Majority PAC, a political committee aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, launched a new ad this week attacking U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, a Republican who faces former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice and Democrat Cheri Beasley in the race for U.S. Senate in the Tar Heel State.
The ad features a young female doctor, Erica Pettigrew, outlining “the truth” about Budd on abortion.
“As a doctor, it’s my job to tell the truth, no matter what. Now I want to tell you the truth about Ted Budd,” she begins, speaking in a clinical setting wearing a white coat and stethoscope. “He’s co-sponsored a bill to ban abortion nationwide. He’d include no exceptions for rape or incest. And Budd would criminalize abortion, which would put doctors like me in jail.”
The ad, entitled “In Charge,” ends with a common talking point among Democrats.
“The truth is, women should be in charge of their own health care decisions, not politicians like Ted Budd.”
A profile on the UNC School of Medicine website lists Pettigrew as an assistant professor and the medical director for the Orange County Health Department and Occupational Health at UNC Health Care. A quote from her on the site says she enjoys “practicing full-scope family medicine as a way to be a social justice advocate” and that she does “a lot of women’s health and reproductive health care including birth control and pregnancy options.”
Abortion access has been a leading issue among Democrats nationwide this cycle. The issue took center stage after the U.S. Supreme Court, in two rulings, overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, thus removing federal protections for abortion and returning regulation over the procedure to states.
A FiveThirtyEight average of polls in North Carolina’s Senate race puts Budd at a 0.7-point advantage over Beasley. Budd has consistently led Beasley in the polling aggregation since April. The two were tied for part of August and Beasley briefly led Budd in early September before losing that advantage later in the month.
The tight race is enough to give Democrats hope that they can swing a key pick-up in a state former President Donald Trump carried in 2020.
Beasley and Budd are running for the seat currently held by Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, who is retiring.