Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is running for governor, and as of 5 p.m. yesterday he secured his place as the nominee. Want to know where he stands on women’s health issues? It ain’t pretty. Take a look below.
- Cuccinelli is against abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.
When 64 percent of Americans agree with the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, to make abortion safe and legal, Cuccinelli proves just far out of the mainstream he is by opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest. He has done everything he can to throw roadblocks in the way of a woman who may want to access a safe and legal abortion — he has bragged about casting the “deciding vote” to overturn the governor’s veto of a “partial-birth” abortion ban, he authored Virginia’s parental consent for abortion law, and co-sponsored a law laying out penalties for violating the parental consent law. He also supports a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion.
- Cuccinelli supported targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP) designed as a backdoor ban to eliminate access to safe and legal abortion in the state.
Last year, Virginia passed a number of excessive and onerous regulations that had nothing to do with supporting women’s health and everything to do with politics. When the Board of Health ruled that the state’s existing health centers would be exempt from the new regulations, Cuccinelli didn’t think this backdoor ban on abortion went far enough. He refused to sign the Board of Health’s recommendations and warned members that if they were sued, he would not represent them. As the Washington Post defined it, “The move is classic Cuccinelli: ideological activism masquerading as professional legal ‘advice.’”
- Co-Sponsored an extreme and dangerous “personhood” bill.
Cuccinelli co-sponsored a bill that would define a fertilized human egg to be a legal person. The so-called “personhood” measures could ban abortion with no exceptions, so when he says that he supports exceptions for the life of the woman, he would have to square his support for personhood with all the inherent restrictions. It could also outlaw medical treatments such as in vitro fertilization and the treatment of pregnant women with cancer.
- Introduced an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood in Virginia.
In a letter clarifying his motives for introducing this bill, he writes, “[L]et's dispense with the outrageous notion that Planned Parenthood is reducing teenage pregnancy on some mythical altruistic basis. Planned Parenthood reduces teen pregnancy by providing abortions, which both makes Planned Parenthood a lot of money and ends a pregnancy.” He goes on to suggest the sex-ed programs run by Planned Parenthood are really just a way to introduce their organization and offer “abortion on demand to our children.” Apparently he doesn’t realize that sex-education prevents unintended pregnancies, and that states with abstinence-only programs have the highest rate of teen pregnancies.
- Cuccinelli supports letting your employer decide whether you get access to affordable birth control.
Just last week, Cuccinelli not only affirmed his opposition to birth control as preventive care, he believes that opponents of no co-pay birth control (as provided in the Affordable Care Act) should be willing to “go to jail” to fight the law, proving yet again how little he cares about women’s health and economic security. He says this, in spite of the fact that 7 out of 10 Americans believe that health insurance companies should cover the full cost of birth control, as required by the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control benefit.
(We didn’t even mention that he was the first attorney general to file a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act! Perhaps for another post…)