Results tagged “Virginia” from Blog for Choice
SBA List is a radical anti-choice group that is actively working to ban abortion nationwide and that supported some of the most outrageous candidates in the 2012 elections. We're working to expose their extreme agenda so that people know what an SBA List-endorsed candidate could do to women's rights.
So what are their plans for the next election cycle?
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List, has talked about their agenda to enact anti-choice provisions state by state:
"We've identified 12 strategic states where we believe the SBA List can advance the pro-life cause even further. In eight of these states, we're ready to launch field offices if we can raise the resources we need."
SBA List has set their sights on Virginia where they are going all-in to elect a radical anti-choice ally for governor: Ken Cuccinelli.
SBA List has called this year's race for governor of Virginia their "proving ground" for an anti-choice takeover strategy in 2014, supporting candidates even former Republican lawmakers say are focused on "intruding into Virginian's personal lives."
SBA List-endorsed Ken Cuccinelli supports "personhood" bills that could not only outlaw abortion, but most common forms of birth control. He led the charge of state suits against Obamacare (and lost). He championed TRAP laws to close abortion clinics in Virginia. And, of course, he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest.
SBA List has lauded Cuccinelli's anti-choice efforts as "an extension of who he is." They even helped establish a terribly ironic group, "Women for Ken," whose members - we can only guess - don't believe in their own right to reproductive freedom and privacy.
Learning critical lessons from 2012, SBA List has established "Project Lifeline," a training program complete with practice techniques and online video lessons to teach politicians how to hide their own offensive positions on survivors of rape.
Voters weren't fooled the first time, and we certainly won't be fooled by SBA List's attempt to mislead women and trick them out of their own reproductive rights.
This blog post is part of a series that exposes SBA List's radical anti-choice agenda. Check back for our next post on SBA List's flagrant misuse of pro-woman activist's Susan B. Anthony's name.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Voters sent a resounding pro-choice message this year when they rejected anti-choice politicians who opposed everything from birth-control coverage to abortion exceptions for rape survivors.
Unfortunately, some anti-choice politicians clearly didn't get the message.
In Texas, anti-choice politicians are pushing legislation that would make it more difficult for women to access medical abortion care, a safe way for women to terminate an early pregnancy. Anti-choice politicians and organizations also are trying to ban abortion late in a pregnancy, a tactic especially harmful to women who face heart-breaking complications.
The state is also continuing its fight in the courts to defund family-planning providers, including Planned Parenthood.
Fortunately, anti-choice politicians in two other states backtracked —for now— on their legislative attacks.
We celebrated a victory when Ohio Senate President Niehaus announced that the legislature would not vote on bills aiming to effectively ban abortion before most women even know they are pregnant and defund Planned Parenthood during the lame duck session.
And in Virginia, overwhelming opposition to a proposed "personhood" measure helped convince Sen. Steve Martin, Chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, to pull the bill from the committee's agenda. It's good news, but it's not the end. In fact, anti-choice politicians in that state have already pre-filed bills for 2013, including one that would slash insurance coverage of birth control.
Don't expect this to be the last thing we hear about choice in Ohio and Virginia. But, when politicians continue to push their extreme anti-choice agenda, pro-choice women and their allies will push back even harder.
Personal, private medical decisions should be made by a woman and her doctor - not by politicians.
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
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.
The first phase of President Obama's contraceptive-coverage policy is in effect!
What does this mean for women? One in three women struggles with the cost of birth control - but all that is about to come to an end. Preventive-health services -including birth control, breastfeeding support, and screening for gestational diabetes- are now available without a copay.
This is a huge step forward in women's health. But we aren't sitting back and relaxing.
Why? Because this important policy is under attack in Congress and across the country.
Yesterday, anti-choice politicians compared Obama's contraceptive-coverage policy to the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9/11. That's outrageous!
Yesterday, in celebration of this huge advancement for women, and to counter attacks on this fantastic policy, our affiliates hosted local events in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, and Virginia.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, our fabulous activists held a visibility event thanking President Obama for making this important advancement for women possible. Linnea House, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, stood up for women during a TV appearance.
In Concord, New Hampshire, birth-control supporters gathered outside Rep. Charles Bass' office to trumpet the new policy. Bass has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its birth-control policy.
In Columbus, Ohio, activists gathered outside of anti-choice Sen. Rob Portman's office to show him that his constituents support the contraceptive-coverage policy. Sen. Portman has been a high-profile opponent of birth control.
Activists in Portland, Oregon gathered for a "Walk for Women's Health." Special guests included Senate Majority Speaker Diane Rosenbaum, state Representative Lew Frederick, and state Representative Elisa Kenny-Geyer.
In Richmond, Virginia, birth-control advocates took to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office. Cuccinelli unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of the health-reform law - including the important birth-control policy - in court.
Watch our activists and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in this great TV interview.
Let's have a big round of applause for these star activists, and especially for pro-choice President Obama who made this historic improvement for women possible.
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.
They won an important round in this fight for women's health, but stay tuned for additional opportunities to take action.
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.
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:
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
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.
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.
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"!
Kristin Koch is the deputy director of communications for online advocacy strategies for NARAL Pro-Choice America
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, appeared on PBS's "NewsHour" with Judy Woodruff to speak out against the extreme mandatory-ultrasound measure in Virginia.
The legislation originally would have forced a woman seeking abortion care to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound. After that become the bane of jokes on shows like "The Daily Show" and "Saturday Night Live," anti-choice Gov. McDonnell backed off. However, if the new bill passes, a woman would still be forced to undergo a different ultrasound method, even if she does not want it and even if her doctor does not recommend it.
Nancy pointed out that no woman should be forced to undergo a medical procedure against her will.
Ted Miller is the director of communications and online advocacy strategies for NARAL Pro-Choice America
As anti-choice presidential candidates' supporters make offensive jokes about birth control and lawmakers in Congress refuse to allow a pro-choice woman to testify at hearings on contraception, lest we forget that this War on Women is unfolding in state legislatures as well.
Let's cross the Potomac River and address what is going in the Old Dominion.
Legislators in Virginia are advancing two egregious bills. One measure called "personhood" would ban abortion and common forms of contraception; the other would mandate that a woman seeking abortion care undergo an ultrasound, even if she doesn't ask for one or if her doctor doesn't recommend it.
The Los Angeles Times reported this about the debate on the "personhood" bill:
Thursday's debate included a notable comment from delegate Todd Gilbert about the decision to have an abortion.
"We hear the same song over there. The very tragic human notes that are often touched upon involve extreme examples," said Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). "But in the vast majority of these cases, these are matters of lifestyle convenience."
At those words, a murmur rippled through the House chamber, the Associated Press said.
The comment, [Tarina] Keene [of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia] said in a phone interview, demonstrates the antiabortion lawmakers' views' of women's reproductive rights.
"It doesn't matter why a woman chooses to terminate her pregnancy," she said. "That's a very private and personal decision to make. For these legislators to make these sweeping allegations and judgments of women just goes to show that this is not just about women's health. It's about curtailing abortions and punishing women."
As you can see, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia is on it, leading the fight in the media and channeling tons of calls and messages to the Virginia General Assembly.
If you're a Virginian or know any Virginians, please share this information from our affiliate.
About two weeks ago, Mississippi voters decisively rejected Initiative 26, the extreme "personhood" measure. Initiative 26 would have banned abortion care without exception, and could also have outlawed in vitro fertilization and most types of birth control.
The defeat of a radical, anti-choice measure in one of the most conservative states in the Union is further evidence that the American people simply do not want attacks on a woman's right to make private medical decisions with her doctor.
But it seems the people behind these "personhood" measures didn't get the memo.
In Virginia, a "personhood" bill will be the very first order of business for the anti-choice state legislature in January.
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said to expect this legislative session to be heavy on anti-choice attacks, light on job creation:
We have no doubt that this is just the beginning of an all-out series of legislative attacks on women's freedom and privacy.
People didn't see campaign literature or TV ads about advancing abortion bans, because voters were under the impression that creating jobs was the top priority. This agenda is out of touch with our commonwealth's values and priorities--and we will fight it every step of the way.
Moving west, yet another "personhood" measure could be on the ballot in Colorado in 2012. Voters in the Centennial State have already defeated such measures--twice!--by lopsided margins, but in the words of one "personhood" backer, "Now is not the time for quitting."
No, these extremists aren't quitting, and neither are we. Here's how Emilie Ailts, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, put it:
I think the voters have spoken out emphatically that they believe this is a personal choice.
I think that [the latest effort] is flying in the face of the wishes of the voters in this state.
I believe that it's very unfortunate that they spend every day of their lives working very hard to restrict the rights of women and their families.
We'll be working equally hard to meet these extreme attacks with force and determination everywhere they arise.
There was a flurry of choice-related headlines from the states this week--some of them very, very good, some of them horrid.
Let's get the horrid news out of the way:
The commonwealth of Virginia has seen more than its fair share of extreme attacks on a woman's right to choose this year.
These regulations, singling out women's health centers for burdensome and medically-unnecessary new requirements, remind us once again the importance of elections. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia will be working in the next few months to hold anti-choice elected officials accountable by mobilizing voters to elect candidates to the state General Assembly who will not play politics with women's health.
Let's cross the Potomac and get back to Washington, D.C., where a Senate committee passed a bill that does NOT include the D.C. abortion ban. You know, it's the ban that blocks the city's elected leaders from using local funds to provide abortion care to low-income women.
(Yes, I know D.C. is not a state. That's why Congress has control over the city's local affairs in the first place.)
Our activists flooded Senate offices with tons of messages, so it's good to see this bit of progress, even though the bill has a long, long way to go.
Now...are you ready for the straight-up good news of the weekend? I thought so.
For that, let's go to the Granite State. (You know, the place where Rep. Michele Bachmann thinks the Revolutionary War started.) You might recall that a state council in New Hampshire voted to end a contract with Planned Parenthood that threatened thousands of residents' access to contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic care.
You may also remember one council member, Raymond Wieczorek, who expressed his thoughts on women who use contraception:
If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?
Well, this week, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (a past recipient of NARAL Pro-Choice America's Champion of Choice award) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will ensure that residents of the state continue to have affordable access to these critical services.
NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire summed it up in this way:
We applaud Sen. Shaheen for her leadership in standing up for women's access to basic, affordable health care in our state. The Executive Council played politics with the health care of thousands of New Hampshire men and women. The public outrage, combined with Sen. Shaheen's persistence and the Obama administration's decision to ensure women's access to contraception and cancer screenings, made this important victory possible. But we encourage New Hampshire residents to continue to let their elected officials know that blatant political attacks on women's health are unacceptable.
As we told our good friend Felicity Huffman, it's best to end on a good note.
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.
Since we last talked (or wrote, rather), NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia's efforts to take on anti-choice Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's latest attack on abortion providers have continued to gain steam.
The big-ticket item was Tarina Keene's (executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia) appearance Tuesday evening on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
In addition, editorials from the Washington Post and The Virginian-Pilot took Cuccinelli to task for using his office to push a politically motivated agenda that will do nothing to improve women's health services in the Old Dominion. Writers at Slate and The Atlantic weighed in with their thoughts, too.
Cuccinelli did get some "friendly feedback," however. Anti-choice Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell issued his support for the attorney general's action. We love Tarina Keene's response to this development:
McDonnell and Cuccinelli are the same politicians who have vowed to outlaw abortion but now want to reinvent themselves as protectors of women's health. That's unconscionable, and the public won't buy it. If the McDonnell-Cuccinelli agenda succeeds, we could see 17 of the 21 abortion providers disappear from Virginia, eliminating women's access to abortion and other services, such as birth control and cancer screenings, that these medical facilities provide.
Let us know if you see more coverage of this issue. Also, if you live in Virginia, please take action at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia's site.
I know you're probably in "crisis pregnancy center" (CPC) overload. Between our YellowPages.com and Superpages.com campaign, to the promotion of "12th & Delaware," to recent legislation introduced in Congress, we have given a lot to process. But, as long as CPCs continue to mislead women about their reproductive-health options, we will continue to call out this unacceptable behavior.
With that in mind, when we read this TIME article which we were thrilled to be a part of, along with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, we were less-than-thrilled about some key facts and truths that were left untold. Our friends at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia quickly drafted a response for their blog, which reads, in part:
We have worked to ensure that CPCs do not utilize deception and evasion to trick people into coming into their facilities, by asking student health centers and the state legislature to support and promote policies that simply ask CPCs to be honest about what services they do (and do NOT) provide. This should not be difficult for any organization that truly has nothing to hide.
In addition to this work that we have, and will continue to do, we are challenging any new crisis pregnancy centers to hold themselves accountable. When we learned of a new CPC opening in Chesterfield County, Virginia, we launched a petition asking that the clinic hold themselves to a higher standard and commit to being honest and upfront in their advertising and other communication with women, sharing only scientifically and medically accurate information, and supporting comprehensive, science-based sex education in their community.
Be sure to go to the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia blog and read the post in full.
There are a lot of misconceptions to clear up, but we're glad this issue is getting national attention . We will continue to work hard to ensure that women are not misled about their health-care options.
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, § 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!