From NBC's Mark Murray
Defenders of Wildlife isn't the only Democratic-leaning interest group that's airing a TV ad targeting Palin.
Planned Parenthood tells First Read it will begin running a new ad on Thursday that brings up the fact that Wasilla, while Palin was mayor there, charged rape victims or their insurers for emergency-room rape kits.
The ad -- which Planned Parenthood says will run in the markets of St. Louis (MO), Madison (WI), and DC/Northern Virginia (VA) -- begins with a testimonial from a rape victim. "I just didn't think it would happen to me," she says. "I was drugged and raped." Then an announcer states, "Under Mayor Sarah Palin, women like Gretchen were forced to pay up to $1,200 for the emergency exams used to prosecute their attackers," adding: "In the Senate, John McCain voted against legislation to protect women from these same heartless policies."
According to our friends over at Politifact, while Wasilla had such a rape kit policy while Palin was mayor, there is no evidence that she explicitly endorsed it. "Wasilla clearly had the policy. Bloggers have portrayed it as a heartless rule seeking money from rape victims, but they have neglected to mention that the policy seems to have been aimed more at getting money from insurance companies than from victims. We can't find that Palin ever commented on the policy, pro or con. But as mayor, she indirectly endorsed it by approving city budgets that relied on the revenue."
Gretchen: I just didn't think it would happen to me. I was drugged and raped.
Announcer: Under Mayor Sarah Palin, women like Gretchen were forced to pay up to $1,200 for the emergency exams used to prosecute their attackers.
In the Senate, John McCain voted against legislation to protect women from these same heartless policies.
Gretchen: That is something to me that's unthinkable. It scares me to death.
VO: Planned Parenthood Action Fund is responsible for the content of this advertising and urges you to get the facts.
*** UPDATE *** RNC spokesman Danny Diaz responds to the ad: "Planned Parenthood's ad is a vicious smear against Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin. This ad is patently false and represents the worst kind of politics. What Barack Obama and his most extreme allies fail to understand is that Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin have demonstrated strong leadership on the critical issues confronting the nation, which is what will resonate with the majority of Americans on Election Day."