An Iowa Democrat claimed in a new ad that if her Republican opponent stays in office, residents will be "denied urgent medical care" due to a lack of abortion access. But one of the women the Democrat features is a stock video actress for a company based out of Denmark, suggesting the campaign had trouble recruiting real-life supporters.
Iowa state senator Liz Mathis released the ad, entitled "Medical Nightmare," earlier this month. Several troubled-looking women are shown throughout the ad, including "Pretty Woman Portrait Smiling Outdoors" produced by Danish company AilaImages.
The woman hired by AilaImages may be in more danger in Denmark, where abortion is restricted after 12 weeks. Mathis's opponent in Iowa's Second Congressional District, incumbent Republican Ashley Hinson, supports a Senate bill that would outlaw abortion after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest, and health of the mother.
Mathis's ad is part of a long string of Democratic messaging missteps before the November midterms, with her party's other office-seekers producing ads that feature voters who don't live in their district or cafés in Europe. But the Mathis ad also highlights the difficulty Democrats face when trying to convince voters that Republicans are proposing unprecedented restrictions on abortion.
The Senate law supported by Hinson and other Republican lawmakers would bring U.S. abortion practices more in line with Europe. A study from the Center for Reproductive Rights found a majority of European countries allow abortion through the first trimester of pregnancy, which ends at around 12 weeks. After that point, the study found, women generally need to apply for an exception.
Mathis's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
The Washington Free Beacon previously reported on Mathis's husband's anti-Christian bigotry. On his Facebook page, now private following a Free Beacon inquiry, Mark Mathis shared photos saying that "Republican Christianity" is "starting to look a lot like extremist Islam."
Mathis will face Hinson in November, in what could be one of the closest races of the cycle. Hinson narrowly won her seat in 2020 by under 3 points.