A Louisiana congressional candidate addressed her state’s newly imposed abortion ban by unveiling a stirring ― and surprisingly intimate ― campaign ad.
In footage shared across her social media accounts Monday, Katie Darling can be seen being wheeled into a hospital while heavily pregnant. Moments later, the Democrat is shown going into labor and giving birth to a son.
“These days, I worry about storms that are stronger and more frequent because of climate change, about our kids’ underperforming public schools,” Darling, currently an account executive for a local tech company, says in the clip.
As for the state’s abortion ban, she adds: “We should be putting pregnant women at ease, not putting their lives at risk.”
Watch the “Katie Darling For Louisiana” ad below.
Speaking to The Washington Post, Darling said she and her husband considered leaving Louisiana after the abortion ban was enacted. Ultimately, the couple opted to say so that Darling could run for office instead.
“I wanted to share that this is real for me,” she told The Associated Press Wednesday. “I am literally the one hooked up to the machines and the IVs in the hospital bed, going through childbirth and nobody else should be deciding how I handle that.”
By Wednesday afternoon, the ad had been viewed more than 1 million times on Twitter alone. Darling has said that “99 percent” of the responses have been positive.
As numerous outlets have pointed out, however, her campaign faces an uphill battle in a district that’s been a Republican stronghold for 45 years. Currently, the 1st Congressional District ― which includes suburban New Orleans ― is represented by Steve Scalise, the Republican House minority whip. In 2020, he was reelected with 72% of the vote.
Darling, however, isn’t deterred.
“Sharing my birth definitely required some vulnerability, but I didn’t have reservations about it because I’m so committed to the cause,” she told The Cut. “Now is the time for us to stand together and to jump into these campaigns and into office so that our voices can be heard. Now is the time for us to show up and represent ourselves and each other in office.”