Pritzker Steps Up Anti-Trump Push With Milwaukee Abortion Ad

(Bloomberg) -- Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is stepping up his fight against Donald Trump, with his pro-choice group buying billboard ads in the city that will host the Republican National Convention next week.

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The campaign seeks to associate Trump and the RNC with the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which led to abortion bans and restrictions in many states. The ads, located near major highways and downtown Milwaukee, were purchased by Think Big America, an organization focused on protecting abortion rights and founded by the billionaire governor last year.

Pritzker has turned Illinois into an oasis for reproductive care in the Midwest, and vowed to do whatever he can to keep Trump out of the White House. The governor, who is seen as a potential presidential candidate, has remained mostly silent as more of his fellow Democrats call for President Joe Biden to step aside from the race.

The billboards near Wisconsin’s largest city were placed early this month and will be up through the convention, according to Christina Amestoy, a spokeswoman for Think Big America. One of them reads: “MAGA extremists are in town this week to nominate a president who wants a national abortion ban. Stop them. Vote.”

“Thanks to Donald Trump and his allies, access to contraception, IVF, and all reproductive health care is now at risk,” Amestoy said in a statement. “Whenever a woman is denied the care she needs, remember: MAGA extremists did this to women and we’re not going to let voters forget it.”

On Monday, a Republican National Committee panel approved a 2024 platform that details priorities including addressing the migrant border crisis, cutting taxes and boosting domestic energy production.

The campaign shared language highlighting 20 principles that didn’t mention abortion, but full text of the platform said the party would “oppose late-term abortion, while supporting mothers and policies that advance prenatal care, access to birth control, and IVF (fertility treatments).”

“While J.B. Pritzker takes a break from overseeing the demise of Illinois and the hollowing out of once-iconic Chicago to try to desperately salvage the sinking Biden-Harris campaign, Milwaukee is gearing up for what’s shaping up to be a historic Republican National Convention that will highlight the real issues – from inflation to crime to a broken border – affecting everyday Americans who have gotten worse off since Joe Biden took office,” RNC spokesman Kush Desai said in a statement.

Milwaukee made headlines last month when Trump called it a “horrible city.” He later clarified he was referring to crime rates. The city, which regularly votes for Democratic candidates both locally and nationally, will host the RNC from July 15-18.

Pritzker’s pro-choice group placed two of the billboards at the I-94 and I-43 highways coming into Milwaukee, which is 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Chicago, where the Democratic National Convention will take place in August. The third ad is about a mile-and-a-half away from Fiserv Forum, which will host the Republican event.

--With assistance from Sam Hall.

(Updates with Republican platform stance on abortion in sixth paragraph, RNC statement in eighth.)

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