Rep Eric Swalwell of California is receiving praise for a campaign video that forecasts the future for families in states where abortion is outlawed.
The video for the former prosecutor, which is entitled “Lock Her Up” opens with a family sitting around a dinner table when two police officers knock on the door and announce that they are arresting the mother for unlawfully terminating a pregnancy.
The police tell her and her partner that her doctor has also been arrested and that she will have to submit to a physical examination. The situation escalates and the woman is taken away by the officers.
“As a former prosecutor, I’ve given a lot of thought about what it will look like for women as the MAGA abortion bans are enforced,” the video description on Mr Swalwell’s YouTube page reads. “#LockHerUp illustrates what’s at stake this November for the women we love.”
As the campaign ad ends, the narrator urges viewers to vote for Democrats in November.
“Elections have consequences,” the narrator says. “Vote Democrat on November 8th. Stop Republicans from criminalising abortion everywhere. Protect women’s rights and freedom.”
The ad received praise from a string of Twitter users after it was released on Tuesday.
“This is the most powerful ad I have seen,” Fred Guttenberg, an activist whose daughter Jamie was killed in the Parkland mass shooting, tweeted.
“ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES! No election in our lifetime will be more consequential than this. WHEN YOU VOTE, MAKE SURE YOU VOTE ON THE REAL ISSUES THAT WILL AFFECT US FOREVER. VOTE DEMOCRAT ONLY!”
The US is currently one of the only countries in the world moving to restrict abortion rights. Republicans have floated passing a national abortion ban if they retake Congress and some members of the party have talked about limiting access to or banning contraceptives and further restricting the freedom of women and doctors.
The advertisement is not explicitly a call for viewers to vote for Mr Swalwell but appears to have a wider aim. Mr Swalwell’s California seat is considered safe — FiveThirtyEight gives him a greater than 99 per cent chance of winning re-election — but the Democratic House and Senate majorities are not.
The Democrats are defending a narrow majority in the House and a 50-50 tie in the Senate that they can break with Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote.
The president’s party traditionally struggles in midterm elections, though it remains to be seen how issues like the reversal of Roe v Wade might impact the results in November.
Mr Swalwell may be looking beyond this particular election as well. Despite his relatively low profile as a member of the House, he launched a longshot campaign for president in 2020 but dropped out of the race months before the voting started in the Democratic primary.
He since has boosted that profile among a particular segment of the Democratic base, helping to lead an impeachment effort against former President Donald Trump and clashing with Republicans.