To kick off its new anti-Obamacare campaign, a conservative group funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch released a web ad last week that features a man in a "creepy Uncle Sam" costume preparing to give a college-aged woman a pelvic exam.
"Don't let the government play doctor," says the video, which is part of a six-figure campaign by Generation Opportunity, a coalition of conservative organizations, to convince college students not to enroll in the new health care exchanges.
One progressive group is firing back this week with a spoof of the ad that features creepy Uncle Sam hovering over the same woman with a transvaginal ultrasound wand. "Health care for all is not invasive," the ad says. "Mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds are. The Koch Brothers have helped elect governors across America who support transvaginal ultrasound bills."
The spoof was created by The Other 98%, a grassroots progressive nonprofit that opposes corporate lobbying.
Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed a record number of laws in the past three years that restrict access to abortion and contraception, and require women to undergo ultrasound procedures before having an abortion. Ten states have adopted mandatory ultrasound laws, and four of those states require a woman to undergo a more invasive transvaginal ultrasound procedure if a regular ultrasound fails to make the fetal heartbeat audible.
In addition to giving Generation Opportunity $5 million to roll out its anti-Obamacare campaign, the Koch brothers have funded a number of conservative advocacy groups that have pushed states to adopt mandatory ultrasound laws.
Evan Feinberg, president of Generation Opportunity, responded to the ads in a statement. "The feigned outrage on the left shows that they're genuinely terrified that young people will hear our message," Feinberg said. "Obamacare supporters are using millions of taxpayer dollars in an attempt to brainwash my generation into signing up for an expensive, unfair, and, quite frankly, creepy pyramid scheme."
He added, "We don't have celebrities and taxpayer dollars like Enroll America so we are relying on creativity and grassroots activism to reach our fellow millennials."
Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said Generation Opportunity's "tasteless" Uncle Sam ad is only going to hurt the conservative cause.
"This ad is brought to you by the same people who force the government between our legs when it comes to abortion access, forced ultrasounds and birth control," she said. "At a time when the gender gap between parties is significant, this ad will only further alienate women."