Twitter censored an advertisement by Democratic congressional candidate Max Rose critiquing his Republican opponent Nicole Malliotakis’ record on abortion and reproductive health, slapping the commercial with age restrictions for sensitive content in a move Rose called “outrageous.”
The social media giant removed the age restrictions for viewing the ad within several hours, after the Rose campaign had filed an appeal. Reps for Twitter did not respond to an inquiry as to why the ad was censored or how it met the company’s guidelines for sensitive content.
The ad features a male character who is told by a doctor “there’s nothing we can do” for his female partner who, evidently, has suffered fatal pregnancy complications. Text is then shown onscreen that reads “Nicole Malliotakis voted to let states ban abortions with no exceptions. Even if it means the mother will die.”
With the general election for the Staten Island and southern Brooklyn-based 11th District — New York City’s only swing congressional seat — just a month away, Rose has made Malliotakis’ record of anti-abortion votes a major sticking point for his campaign. Weeks after the US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion, Malliotakis joined every member of her party in voting against a bill codifying the protections of Roe v. Wade into federal law.
The bill passed the House but died in the split-control Senate, allowing states to enforce total abortion bans, some with major criminal penalties attached for both people seeking abortions and medical providers. Eleven states are now enforcing total abortion bans, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, with legislators in several more attempting to pass total bans. Attempts at banning abortion are tied up in litigation in a number of other states.
Malliotakis, who as an assemblymember voted against codifying the right to abortion into state law, has been somewhat tightlipped on abortion and reproductive health since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision in June. With polls showing the majority of Americans supporting the right to abortion, the midterm race has shifted significantly in Democrats’ favor since Dobbs, though forecasters still predict Republicans will take the House.
The Malliotakis campaign declined to comment for this story, pointing to comments previously made in other outlets. Last month, the congressmember told the Staten Island Advance that she thinks there should be “limits” on abortion, but that she has issues with a national 15-week abortion ban introduced by Senate Republicans, and believes abortion should be permitted in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in peril.
Malliotakis’ campaign website does not mention abortion or reproductive healthcare. Rose’s website states he favors codifying Roe into federal law and opposes “draconian abortion laws that clearly infringe on a woman’s right to choose.”