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Results tagged “Bob McDonnell” from Blog for Choice

Virginia TRAP Scheme Continues to Take its Toll

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Karen_Remley.jpegLeslie and Kate are members of NARAL Pro-Choice America's policy department.

For those of you following what seems like a never-ending battle against Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP) in Virginia, last week we saw a sad footnote to the year-long saga.

After serving for five years as Virginia's health commissioner, Dr. Karen Remley resigned from her position. She pointed to the political process surrounding the state's new TRAP regulations as the reason.

A dedicated public servant first appointed by then-Gov. Tim Kaine (D), and reappointed by current Gov. Bob McDonnell (R)--Dr. Remley had clearly prioritized public health over politics in carrying out her duties, serving ably under two different administrations. However, she could no longer abide by the political meddling and the departure from sound science the TRAP scheme represented.

After we reported on the pro-choice victory this summer, anti-choice politicians forced the hand of the board of health, and it approved the TRAP regulations on September 26. Anti-choice Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli certified them immediately. The regulations are currently with Gov. McDonnell, who is certain to approve them.

In her letter to the governor, Dr. Remley said:

I personally committed to you when I accepted your appointment that I would lower abortion rates in our state by both the application of evidence based approaches and also the thoughtful implementation of abortion regulations if authorized to do so by the General Assembly and signed into law by yourself. I have honored those commitments on both accounts...Unfortunately, how specific sections of the Virginia Code pertaining to the development and enforcement of these regulations have been and continue to be interpreted has created an environment in which my ability to fulfill my duties is compromised and in good faith I can no longer serve in my role.

Despite claims that the TRAP regulations were motivated by concern for women's health and safety, this latest event proves that TRAP regulations are in no way related to public health.

Anti-choice politicians' attempts to close abortion providers in Virginia has been so overtly political that they ultimately drove out a dedicated public servant with an impeccable record for fairness and commitment to sound science.

Photo Credit: Virginia Department of Health
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Who Will Represent Romney at the Republican National Convention?

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Mitt_Romney_at_2012_CPAC.jpgMitt Romney is only a few days away from accepting the Republican nomination for president.

Starting today, voters will hear from speakers who were selected to send a message about the kind of president Romney would be - and about the vision the Republican Party has for America.

The Republican Party had a chance to distance itself from Rep. Todd Akin's recent outrageous and offensive comment that survivors of "legitimate" rape rarely become pregnant.

Instead, the party put forward an extreme anti-choice platform that would support denying women access to abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

It should come as no surprise, then, that a slate of extreme anti-choice politicians will join Mitt Romney to represent what kind of president he'll be.

Tonight, you can catch "Transvaginal" Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), chairman of the party's platform committee. Gov. McDonnell signed a forced-ultrasound measure into law earlier this year. That means that women in Virginia will be forced to get an ultrasound before they can access abortion care, even if it's medically unnecessary and even if it's against the woman's will.

Tomorrow, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will speak. In June, Sen. Paul tried to sneak a "personhood" amendment into a flood-insurance bill.

That's right - flood insurance.

Don't forget that "personhood" measures would outlaw abortion in almost all circumstances. They could ban several of the most common forms of birth control, restrict fertility treatments, and put an end to stem-cell research.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) will introduce Mitt Romney on Thursday night.

Sen. Rubio recently stated that banning abortion "is not an issue about denying anyone rights. This is an issue about protecting the rights of a human being to live - irrespective of what stage in development they may be."

Oh, the hypocrisy. Sen. Rubio was a driving force behind anti-choice senators' attempt to allow bosses to deny employees from receiving birth-control coverage - you know, so they can prevent unintended pregnancy in the first place.

These are just a handful of the politicians who will sing Romney's praises and send a message to American voters. Why don't you send a message back? Tell Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan that you don't agree with their extreme anti-choice agenda.

They'll see just how out of touch they are with American women and their families on November 6.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Rep. Paul Ryan's Support for Forced Ultrasounds

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398px-Paul_Ryan_official_portrait_2.jpgWe recently told you about Rep. Paul Ryan's stance on "personhood," his 59 anti-choice votes in the U.S. House, and his statement:

"I'm as pro-life as a person gets. You're not going to have a truce. Judges are going to come up. Issues come up, they're unavoidable, and I'm never going to not vote pro-life."

So it comes as no surprise that Rep. Paul Ryan also backed a bill that would force a woman to get a medically unnecessary ultrasound before she can access abortion care - even if she doesn't want one and even if her doctor doesn't recommend it.

His position isn't far off from Gov. Bob McDonnell in Virginia - remember him?

His state made national headlines when anti-choice politicians passed a bill that would force a woman seeking abortion care to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound. Gov. McDonnell became known as the "transvaginal governor," and independent polling indicates Gov. McDonnell and the legislators who supported the forced-ultrasound measure paid a price with voters.

Ultimately, Gov. McDonnell signed a forced-ultrasound measure into Virginia law.

The federal bill that Rep. Ryan cosponsored also would force a woman to undergo an ultrasound even if her doctor doesn't recommend it, and even if against the woman's will.

We'll be working every day between now and November 6 to make sure the Romney-Ryan ticket doesn't get the chance to impose a forced-ultrasound law on women across the country.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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A Veep for Mittens

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Thanks to our great policy researchers, we deliver a bunch of detailed information about the people aiming to join Mitt Romney on the GOP ticket.

Here is how Politico's Morning Score reported it:

At a 10 a.m. briefing, the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America will release research on the abortion, contraception and other reproductive-rights records of who they identify as the 13 most-mentioned potential GOP vice-presidential candidates. Those who make their cut: Kelly Ayotte, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Susana Martinez, Bob McDonnell, Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and John Thune. [Most of these folks were never remotely considered by Beth Myers, but the group points out that they are all surrogates.] Here's a sample from their findings:
Rob_Portman.jpg As a member of the House and the Senate, Sen. Rob Portman has cast 118 anti-choice votes out of 119 opportunities (115 votes in the House; four in the Senate).
220px-John_Thune.jpg Sen. John Thune has never cast a pro-choice vote out of a total of 96 opportunities during his tenure in the House and Senate.
gov_christie.jpg Like Mitt Romney, many of these potential running mates have records hostile to birth control, from voting to defund Planned Parenthood to cutting funding for family-planning programs. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie eliminated family-planning funding from the state budget and then vetoed legislation that would have restored it.
220px-Kelly_Ayotte.jpg Sen. Ayotte also voted to defund Planned Parenthood and to allow private employers to refuse to cover birth control or any service required under the health-reform law for virtually any reason.
Tim_Pawlenty.jpg Although former Gov. Tim Pawlenty took many anti-choice actions while in office, it's interesting that he signed into law a measure that ensures sexual-assault survivors receive information about and access to emergency contraception. His record differs from Romney's on this issue. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney vetoed a similar bill, which, fortunately, the Massachusetts Legislature overrode."

Our apologies to the fictional Vice President Selina Meyer in HBO's new comedy series "Veep." All we know about her is that she's funnier than Portman or Thune.

julianadreyfuss.JPG

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Last week, Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, wrote a post on the proposed Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers, or TRAP requirements that anti-choice Gov. Bob McDonnell was pushing.

Well, we have an update from the Old Dominion, and it has some good news for Virginia women, but the issue is far from resolved.

Late Friday afternoon, the Virginia Board of Health amended a key provision of the draft TRAP requirements.

The amendment means that existing women's health care centers that provide safe, legal first-trimester abortion care will be "grandfathered in," rather than being subjected to onerous and unnecessary forced building requirements. This is a vote on the side of women's health and wellbeing in Virginia.

Special thanks to NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and its allies in the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women's Health for fighting against restrictive and unnecessary TRAP requirements.

They won an important round in this fight for women's health, but stay tuned for additional opportunities to take action.

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Stop McDonnell & Cuccinelli's TRAP scheme

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Tarina Keene is executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.

Sanity seems to have left the commonwealth of Virginia.

Earlier this year, the country watched with shock and awe as Virginia passed a mandatory ultrasound bill that forces a woman to undergo an ultrasound procedure before receiving an abortion - even if she does not want an ultrasound and even if her doctor thinks it is unnecessary. Now, the Old Dominion - Thomas Jefferson's commonwealth - is again poised to humiliate women and doctors by shutting off access to safe, legal abortion.

Since the McDonnell Administration and an activist attorney general came into power two and half years ago, the policy making process has been wrought with duplicitous backroom deals and contrived regulations in an effort to ban abortion... and even birth control. So far, they've gotten away with it.

This Friday, the Virginia Board of Health will again meet to consider proposed permanent regulations for women's health centers - what we call "TRAP," targeted regulations on abortion providers. But don't be fooled. These proposed regulations have nothing to do with patient care or safety despite what McDonnell and Cuccinelli may purport. They want to force doctors' offices that provide first trimester abortion - and have been doing so safely for nearly 40 years - to now convert themselves overnight into mini-hospitals, which you may agree is nearly impossible to do! The Board of Health literally is imposing new 2010 hospital construction guidelines on doctors' offices that have been open and operating for four decades! What this means is that women's health centers must spend hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars adding additional toilets, expanding the size of their doors and hallways, increasing treatment rooms to the size of your car garage, making sure there are as many parking spaces as there are beds (even though there are no overnight stays), and expensive, very specific ventilation systems. All this for one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States today, which generally takes fewer than 10 minutes to complete.

Simply put - if regulations are passed as written with these forced building construction requirements, the majority of the state's abortion providers may be forced to close putting women's health and safety at risk.

What does this mean for women? Under the proposed permanent regulations, the 20 women's health centers that provide safe, affordable early abortion care in Virginia will be forced by the government to comply with overly burdensome, medically unnecessary regulations to just keep their doors open - costs that could be so high that health centers are forced to close their doors entirely. This has a detrimental impact on women's access to affordable healthcare, especially for young, low-income, uninsured or underinsured, rural and minority women who count on women's health centers around the state for their primary care. If even one health center closes, that could mean higher costs for women who already struggle to access and pay for healthcare.

We need to bring sanity back to the commonwealth of Virginia and end attacks on women's health and privacy. Without public action or legislative oversight, Gov. McDonnell and AG Cuccinell will have a free pass to implement the most aggressive laws in the country to impede access to women's health care and abortion. This overreach of power is unconscionable! But it's not too late.

The regulations are before the Virginia Board of Health this Friday June 15. If approved through the next stages of the regulatory process, these regulations will become law in early 2013. Please ask each of the 15 BOH members to use their medical expertise - not politics- to make the logical decision to stop this insane attempt to impose politically motivated regulations onto abortion providers. The women of Virginia are counting on them.

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Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, talks with Rachel Maddow about the awkward position anti-choice politicians like Virginia's "Governor Ultrasound," Bob McDonnell, are in, having taken extremist positions on abortion and women's health and now desperately trying to spin their way back to acceptability.

Watch as Nancy spells out the reasons voters can't trust politicians like McDonnell, who is on the list of possible vice-presidential running mates for Mitt Romney:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is on many people's short list of potential Republican vice-presidential candidates this year.

He certainly has a record that's extreme enough on abortion to match whoever ends up winning the nomination.

Just last week, he signed Virginia's forced-ultrasound bill into law. This is the measure that forces a woman to have an ultrasound before she can get abortion care--even if she doesn't want one and even if her doctor doesn't recommend one.

Now, Virginia's Democratic Party has put together a video highlighting McDonnell's anti-woman record:

Moving over to Pennsylvania, anti-choice Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is not about to let Gov. McDonnell corner the market on outrageous attacks on women's freedom and privacy.

He's pushing a forced-ultrasound bill in the Keystone State, and had this to say about women who don't want one:

I don't know how you make anybody watch. You just have to close your eyes.

Oh. Is that all?

New polling shows that politicians supporting these types of attack on women are losing support...among women.

With guys like Bob McDonnell and Tom Corbett speaking about the issue, it's no wonder why.

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"Doonesbury" Takes on Mandatory Ultrasounds

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Mandatory-ultrasound laws have gotten a lot of attention of late.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed one of these intrusive measures into law last week. And a mandatory-ultrasound law was allowed to go into effect in Texas in January, when a temporary stay was overturned by the courts.

Now, Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" is taking on this attack on women's freedom and privacy.

Doonesbury 3-12.gif

Each "Doonesbury" this week will be about Texas' mandatory-ultrasound law. But not everyone will get to see it in their hometown paper--apparently, the topic was too controversial for some publications.

Here at Blog for Choice, we believe a comic strip that draws attention to intrusive government mandates should be shared far and wide.

Keep checking back here every day this week for more "Doonesbury"!

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Get the Scoop on Virginia from Rachel Maddow

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Earlier this year, the commonwealth of Virginia enacted a far-reaching TRAP law, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.

TRAP laws are unnecessary and burdensome regulations on abortion providers--but not other medical professionals. They're an obvious attempt to drive doctors out of practice and make abortion care more expensive and difficult to obtain.

Virginia's Department of Health is expected to announce today draft rules for the implementation of the new TRAP law. These rules could jeopardize women's access to safe, legal abortion and other reproductive-health care in the state.

Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, went on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show last night to speak out against burdensome regulations:

If you live in the Old Dominion, check with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia for ways to take action to protect access to safe, legal abortion care in Virginia.

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Two Governors Say No to Preventing Teen Pregnancy

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This morning's news includes reports of how two states' respective anti-choice governors are saying no to federal funds for comprehensive teen-pregnancy-prevention programs. You know, the kind of programs that teach teens about abstinence and contraception. These efforts help young people prevent unintended pregnancy and avoid sexually transmitted diseases. Would anyone really say no to such commonsense policies? 


 We are outraged Gov. Tim Pawlenty is willing to continue to play games with the lives of Minnesota youth...  During a time of tremendous budgetary challenges for our state, the governor has once again shown that he will put political games ahead of sound policy recommendations. 

Given how politicians are behaving in Virginia, we must admit that Gov. Bob McDonnell's decision is not surprising, even though NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and its allies gave him many compelling reasons to do the right thing. However, it's still disappointing that Gov. McDonnell, like Gov. Pawlenty in Minnesota, put a political agenda before teens' health. It's also worth noting that Virginia's previous governor declined "abstinence-only" funds in the past because the programs were such a failure. This is really a step backward for teens in Virginia.  

Teen-pregnancy prevention and accurate sex education are not controversial topics. The public supports this evidence-based approach. In fact, a newspaper in Gov. McDonnell's state just released findings from a survey that shows 80 percent of parents in Roanoke support comprehensive sex education.  

If you're feeling ambitious and want to learn more about this topic, we've got the fact sheets and more for you. Or, if you'd like a primer on how to talk about this topic with friends, visit our Talk About Choice section. 

Before we head out to the weekend (yipee!), we wanted to make sure we shared some must-know news from the choice front:

She Took Us to New Height(s): This week, millions of Americans - and the entire NARAL Pro-Choice America family - said goodbye to civil, human, and women's rights leader Dr. Dorothy I. Height, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, who died this week at the age of 98. She was one of our nation's leading progressive figures who spent more than six decades working to improve the lives of all Americans. Many of you may remember that she was honored during the 2004 March for Women's Lives, and she voiced support for the Freedom of Choice Act as recently as December 2008. Read our statement, and be sure to check-out the Washington Post's excellent story about Dr. Height's many achievements for more information on her life and legacy.

You're Not OK, Oklahoma: As much as we love the great Sooner State, we really don't love the anti-choice lawmakers in Oklahoma who are moving forward on several outrageous bills. One would require doctors to perform an unnecessary, invasive medical procedure before any abortion. Please take a moment to read this important article, and if you have friends or family in Oklahoma, please share it with them. Oklahoma already has a grade of an F - who thought it could really get worse?

Virginia, Where Being Poor is a Pre-Existing Condition: Politicians like Bob McDonnell told women in Virginia that their health doesn't matter, especially if they're low-income women who need to access abortion if their health is threatened. Can you imagine if your doctor said you needed medical care to protect your health, but you then learned that the state legislature decided what you needed isn't important? Ridiculous! Apparently being poor really is a pre-existing condition that make your needs--and your right to choose--less important in Bob McDonnell's Virginia. It would seem like the new anti-choice leadership in Virginia never misses an opportunity to take away women's access to abortion and other reproductive-health care. Read more on NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia's blog.

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Channeling Oprah: The One Thing I Know for Sure

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Elizabeth Shipp is the Political Director for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Ever have one of those weeks where you just want to stand on your chair and yell at the top of your lungs, "ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!"?

Well, if you're pro-choice and live in Virginia, I imagine you've felt that way in the past week. Pundits, armchair quarterbacks, and reporters, have all declared the Virginia gubernatorial battle over in one way or another. I keep checking my calendar to make sure Halloween hasn't come early this year, because every day brings another "trick" instead of a "treat" when it comes to this race.

So, here's what I'm telling myself and sharing with you: Buck up, baby! The last week of any campaign is grueling and things can change in a heartbeat. And to quote Oprah, the "one thing I know for sure" is that giving up five days before an election is the easiest way to lose the race.

Five days is a lifetime in the world of campaigns. We have five whole days to work like hell for Creigh Deeds and prove all the "nattering naybobs of negativity" wrong come November 3. (Yes, I just gave a shout out to Bill Sapphire - hated his politics, loved his passion for the English language.)

Virginia, we are this close to electing a fully pro-choice governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general - a trifecta of pro-choice champions, if you will - to represent our interests for the next four years in Richmond. This is not the time to give up or give in. If we do, the results could be devastating for women in Virginia. (And no, that's not hyperbole, that's reality.)

Think about Wednesday, November 4. We can wake up knowing that reproductive rights are safe for four years because we spent the last crucial hours of the campaign knocking on doors, making phone calls, taking our neighbors to vote, and telling our pro-choice friends that the only way to protect a woman's right to choose in Virginia is to elect Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner, and Steve Shannon.

Or... we can wake up on Wednesday, November 4 with a pit in our stomachs and the realization that Virginia has elected an anti-choice ticket that, based on their previous actions, is committed to turning back the clock in Virginia when it comes to women's rights - especially the right to choose. Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli don't just seem scary because of things they've said or written. They are frightening because of the actions they've taken against reproductive choice.

Throw away Bob McDonnell's thesis and pretend it never existed. (I'm sure he wishes we all would do just that.) Even IF McDonnell had never written that document while attending Pat Robertson's law school, we'd still have his record: During his 15 years in the Virginia House of Delegates, Bob McDonnell voted 35 times to restrict a woman's right to choose, and he opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Let's forget for a moment that Bill Bolling has a 100% rating from the Family Foundation and was previously endorsed by an extreme anti-choice group, Virginia Society for Human Life. Or that he not only voted anti-choice consistently without pause, but took the lead and signed onto 16 anti-choice bills while a state senator. Here's the main reason you should vote for Jody Wagner over Bill Bolling: As lieutenant governor, Bolling cast the tie-breaking vote to de-fund Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the state - and then went on to brag about it as if denying women access to contraception and reproductive health services is something to be proud of!

Finally, there's Ken Cuccinelli who's running for Attorney General. Ken "I'll only defend laws I agree with" Cuccinelli, who co-sponsored that anti-Planned Parenthood bill that Bolling brags about, wants to be the top law enforcement officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia. If his run-of-the-mill anti-choice extremism doesn't bother you enough, consider this: Ken Cuccinelli was the co-patron of a human life amendment in 2007 that stated that, "life begins at the moment of fertilization and the right to enjoyment of life guaranteed by Article 1, ยง 1 of the Constitution of Virginia is vested in each born and preborn human being from the moment of fertilization." If passed, Cuccinelli's bill would have banned abortion in Virginia - and potentially birth control and In-Vitro fertilization, too. Is this the person you want as your next attorney general?

And if all of this doesn't scare you enough, check out this website and ask yourself if you can handle seeing this on the front page of every newspaper in Virginia on Wednesday, November 4.

Okay. We have five days to make a difference. Five days to change the outcome. Five days to remind ourselves what we're fighting for in this election.

Get motivated. Get angry. Get fired up! Watch this and then tell those naysayers to shut up... we have work to do!

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Attention New Jersey & Virginia: Only five days left...

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Elizabeth Shipp is the Political Director for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

 

vote prochoice.jpg
Okay, my Virginia and New Jersey pro-choice peeps, you only have a limited time to apply to vote absentee (in VA) or actually vote by mail (for the cool kids in NJ) because the deadline is October 27 in both states! And trust me, we need every vote in both Commonwealths - yes, they are both commonwealths, my historically inquisitive friends - if we're going to make a difference in the lives of millions of women who live in both states. But hey, no pressure right?

Click here to get information about vote-by-mail in New Jersey. What's cool about the Garden State (other than the movie with the same title, real honest-to-goodness diners throughout the state, and BRUCE!!!!)? In New Jersey, you don't need a reason - read excuse - to vote by mail. Plan to be out of town that day? Vote by mail! Afraid you'll be stuck in line for hours on Election Day? Vote by mail! It's so easy and yet, so important. You have until October 27 to request an early-mail ballot, so if you haven't done so already, get crackin'!

For my fellow Virginians, well, let's just say that Bob McDonnell's thesis isn't the only thing stuck in the past. Unfortunately, we aren't as lucky as our friends in New Jersey, so no vote by mail for us! (Seriously, Virginia General Assembly - is it that hard to make it easier to allow people to vote? I know; I digress.) So, even though our voting laws are stuck in the dark ages with McDonnell's thesis, you can still vote absentee, but you have to register to do so by October 27. And, unlike New Jersey, you actually need a reason for having to vote absentee. Here's a nifty link to help you figure out if you qualify.

One thing that is cool about voting in Virginia is that you can show up to vote absentee usually beginning 45 days before the general election and ending the Saturday before the general election. (Pop quiz without looking at a calendar: What day would that be? If you answered Oct. 31, come by my condo and I'll give you a piece of candy on Halloween. Okay, not really because I don't know you well enough yet.) If you want to find out if your local election office is offering in-person absentee voting, click here and then call or email your city/county registrar to find hours and locations for in-person absentee voting.

Okay, that's it. Now, just don't stand there...vote! Seriously...go vote. Right now. I'll wait.
Oh, wait...before you go: remember to vote ONLY for pro-choice candidates!

  • VA voters: Vote Deeds, Wagner and Shannon
  • NJ voters: Vote Corzine/Weinberg

Okay, I'm done now. I'll just wait here nice and quiet like while you go participate in democracy.

Via the Politico web site:

Have a question for Virginia's gubernatorial candidates?

ABC7, POLITICO and YouTube will talk to Virginia Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds and Republican candidate Bob McDonnell -- and we want your help coming up with the questions.

Submit your own questions -- and vote on others -- by midnight on Thursday, October 1, 2009. You can also include a YouTube video of yourself asking a question.

Here's how submitting questions and video into Google moderator works:
  1. Click "Sign in" on the right hand side of the page below. Enter your email and password and hit "Sign in" again. (NOTE: If you don't have a Google account hit "Get Started")
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Submit a question".
  3. Type in your question or paste in your YouTube video URL in the marked slot. Hit "Submit."
  4. To vote on questions simply hit the check mark to vote "yes" or the X to vote "no".
  5. To search for a question or topic use the search function below.
On Tuesday, October 6, at 7 p.m., tune in to ABC7-WJLA TV or www.politico.com to watch the candidates answer some of your most popular questions.

Boy do we have a few questions for McDonnell... if you like them, feel free to use them:

1. Every year you were in the House of Delegates, you supported at least one anti-abortion measure - and in your entire career you sponsored or co-sponsored 35 such bills. Doesn't that mean you support government interference in personal, private medical decisions that should be made between a woman, her family, and her doctor?

2. In your thesis, you question the concept of marital privacy with regards to using birth control. You also voted several times against improving access to birth control. How do you explain these votes?

3. Do you think it's okay for a pharmacy to refuse to fill a woman's prescription for birth control based on a pharmacist's personal views against contraception?

4. You voted multiple times against measures that would have improved access and expanded education around the importance emergency contraception for rape survivors. Do you believe that women should have access to emergency contraception - to prevent pregnancy - in the event of an assault?

Remember - the deadline is midnight tonight: October 1! So please take a moment to submit your question, and then ask your friends to do it, too!

Our Thesis on Bob McDonnell? That's Easy - He's Anti-Choice

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Kristin Koch is the Deputy Director for Online Communications at NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Who would have thought that a master's thesis could be so provocative?

Well, the thesis that anti-choice Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Bob McDonnell wrote to get a master's degree at Pat Robertson's university makes readers feel like they're on Leave it to Beaver.

Let's start with the original Washington Post story to get everyone on the same page, shall we:

At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master's thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

Of course, Bob McDonnell, who has been campaigning as a moderate, wants voters to forget this 93-page tirade he wrote at age 34. But he's finding out that it's hard to focus on jobs when he's voted against equal pay.

Let's give props to NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. They have been telling the truth about the former attorney general and state legislator's record of votes against women's equality and freedom, which is long... probably longer than his thesis, if that's possible.

Fortunately, McDonnell's opponent is pro-choice state Sen. Creigh Deeds, whom NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia has endorsed.

The Deeds campaign hasn't missed a beat. Check out his latest campaign ad (this is one to post to your Facebook page, it's so good):

So, voters in the Old Dominion have a pro-choice alternative, and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia has even more to share with the public about McDonnell's extreme record.

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