How we make the call
Truth Squad assigns five ratings to the political statements we review, in descending levels of accuracy:
|Who:||Senate Majority PAC|
|What:||TV ad “Backwards”|
Relevant text of the ad
“Backwards: That’s the direction Terri Lynn Land would take Michigan women. Under Land's radical plan, common forms of birth control would be outlawed. Insurance companies could go back to charging women more. And Land would ban abortion even for victims of rape and incest. Terri Lynn Land has it backwards on women's health. Michigan women just can't afford Republican Terri Lynn Land.”
The 30-second TV ad by Senate Majority PAC is its third attacking Land, a Republican former secretary of state who is running for U.S. Senate in a lively race against Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters. Previous ads (here and here) linked Land to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, key backers of Americans for Prosperity. AFP has run several ads (here and here) attacking Peters for his support of Obamacare.
“Backwards” continues a blow-for-blow tussle over which candidate best represents women. In April, Land ran an ad mocking Peters, saying, “As a woman, I might know a little bit more about women than Gary Peters.”
Statements under review:
“Under Land's radical plan, common forms of birth control would be outlawed.”
It is unclear precisely what “radical plan” is referenced in the ad, though Land has stated she supported the 2012 Republican platform. That platform supports a human life amendment, often interpreted as not only supporting a ban on all forms of abortion but also certain types of commonly used contraceptives, such as the morning after pill and IUDs. Land spokesperson Heather Swift told Truth Squad that Land “does not support legislation that would ban access to birth control like the pill or IUD.” But she declined to give Land’s position on access to emergency contraception (often called morning-after pills), which some abortion opponents liken to medication that induces abortion. (Major U.S. medical groups say the morning-after pill prevents pregnancy, and does not induce abortion)
“Insurance companies could go back to charging women more.”
Land has repeatedly stated she would work to repeal Obamacare, though she has not offered a comprehensive alternative. The health care reform requires most health plans to cover recommended female preventive services such as mammograms, contraception and screenings for cervical cancer at no cost. Land told the Associated Press she supports insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions, allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines and requiring hospitals to publish a list of their standard charges.
“And Land would ban abortion even for victims of rape and incest.”
Land has stated in general terms her opposition to abortion and was quoted in a Feb. 20 article in Politico: “My position is government shouldn’t pay for abortions.” She was quoted in the same article that the “only exception” she supports for abortion is to save the life of the mother. Land has not taken a stand on a state law which prohibits insurers from offering abortion coverage as a standard feature in new health plans.
The ad distorts Land's position to say she has a “radical plan” to outlaw common forms of birth control. The 2012 Republican platform she supports clearly backs a ban on abortion, but is more ambiguous on the question of birth control. Land’s campaign said she does favor access to birth control like the pill and IUD. While Land’s office would not address whether she also supports access to the morning after pill, there is nothing in the public record to show she would oppose it, either. The ad’s statement that Land would “outlaw” common forms of birth control is not supported by the evidence available.
The ad fairly charges that Land does not support abortion even in cases of rape or incest, relying on her statements to Politico. The ad fails to mention that Land does support abortion to save the life of the mother. If the Affordable Care Act were repealed, it is true that women could be charged more for certain types of coverage.