Women hold up signs during a women's pro-choice rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 11, 2013.
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September 12, 2014 11:12 AM EDT

Planned Parenthood is joining liberal groups in attacking Republican candidates who have recently come out in support of expanding access to over-the-counter contraceptives. Planned Parenthood Votes, the organization’s political action committee, launched ad buys in Colorado and North Carolina on Friday totaling nearly $1 million, targeting GOP Senate candidates Thom Tillis and Cory Garndner.

Both Tillis and Gardner are among Republican candidates who have recently said they believe contraception should be made more widely available. Planned Parenthood, however, is calling their stance a “last-ditch-political ploy” to attract women voters who polls show are wary of the GOP. The group says candidates want to turn “the pill into yet another bill” by shifting cost of contraceptives off of insurance companies and onto women.

“Women aren’t fooled,” Planned Parenthood Votes Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement. “They know that the politicians like Cory Gardner and Thom Tillis proposing to make birth control available over-the-counter are the same ones trying to get rid of insurance coverage for birth control, which would set women back economically to the tune of $600 a year out of pocket.”

The nearly $1 million buy includes about $500,000 worth of TV buys in North Carolina and over $400,000 worth of buys in Colorado. The ads are a part of Planned Parenthood’s Women are Watching campaign, which targets “anti-women’s health politicians.” Friday’s ads are Planned Parenthood Votes’ first buys of this election cycle.

Tillis and Gardner are both facing incumbent Democrats in the upcoming election. Though Tillis’ battle against Sen. Kay Hagan is considered a toss-up, recent polls show Gardner’s opponent Sen. Mark Udall ahead by over three points.

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