NEW YORK: A coalition of about 100 medical, pharmacist, domestic violence, and abortion-rights groups are banding together to pressure Gov. George Pataki to reverse his position on over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception.
The groups, which are part of the Emergency Contraception Access Campaign, were expected to rally last week in front of Pataki's Manhattan office.
The governor had indicated days earlier that he plans to veto legislation that would make the morning-after pill available without a prescription.
The coalition is hoping to change the governor's position, using the rally "to really get him to see the people of New York who need this legislation," said Mary Alice Carr, director of advocacy programs for coalition member NARAL Pro-Choice New York.
Separately, NARAL and the Glover Park Group undertook a three-day advertising blitz to highlight how Pataki's position on emergency contraception is at odds with his abortion-rights record.
Carr noted that the coalition is looking to put a human face on the issue, while the NARAL ads carry a more political message.
The ad campaign was unveiled in three key states - New York, Iowa, and New Hampshire - and is "targeted at the people for whom politics is a spectator sport," she said.
Carr added that people want to know where politicians stand on important issues. NARAL is casting the moderate Republican governor as someone who is backtracking on an abortion-rights record to appease conservatives as he contemplates a run for national office.
Pataki has maintained that he is concerned that the bill does not include an age restriction.
NARAL is also hoping to extend the ads' impact through earned media generated by the TV spots.