Richmond, Virginia- Today, Senate Republicans on the Courts of Justice Committee nominated failed gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli to fill the seat currently held by Justice Jane Marum Roush.

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“This is an unwelcome blast from the past. Virginians already rejected Ken Cucinelli's hateful agenda three years ago. Now the Virginia State Senate is attempting to bring his anti-woman, anti-LGBT policies to Virginia’s Highest Court. This is not what Virginians want or need. Cuccinelli has made his politics plain: he will restrict access to birth control, defund Planned Parenthood, and end access to safe and legal abortion. In 2013, the Commonwealth of Virginia rejected Ken Cuccinelli, and we call on the State Senate to reject him again.”

Statement from Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:

“In 2013, the women, men and young people of Virginia voted to Keep Ken Out of the governor’s mansion. Today, we say with a resounding voice that the State Senate must Keep Ken Out of the Virginia Supreme Court. Ken Cuccinelli holds some of the most extreme views on women’s health by any major party candidate in years. He opposes women’s access to affordable birth control, emergency contraception, and safe and legal abortion. He’s even supported extreme and dangerous “personhood” legislation that could interfere in the personal and private medical decisions of Virginia women. That crusade will surely continue if he makes it onto the Virginia Supreme Court. The State Senate must reject his nomination and maintain the integrity of the Court.”

 

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BACKGROUND

KEN CUCCINELLI IS AGAINST ABORTION, EVEN IN CASES OF RAPE, INCEST, OR TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF THE WOMAN.

He touted himself as the “most aggressive pro-life leader” in the State Senate and bullied the Virginia board of health into passing medically unnecessary, targeted restrictions of abortion providers (TRAP), saying the goal of these and all abortion restrictions is to “make abortion disappear in America.” Cuccinelli’s views are out of touch with the majority of Virginians who want to keep abortion safe and legal and think doctors and medical experts — not elected officials — should make medical decisions and set health regulations.

According to 2012 election night exit polls, 63 percent of voters believe abortion should remain legal in at least some or all cases. According to an October 2012 Gallup poll of voters in 12 swing states (including Virginia), 39 percent of women cited abortion as the most important election issue for women. Women who cited abortion preferred Obama by a 3-1 margin.

A report from the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health shows that Virginia’s targeted restrictions of abortion providers are deeply unpopular with Virginians.

KEN CUCCINELLI WANTS TO MAKE BIRTH CONTROL AND EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION LESS AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE FOR VIRGINIA WOMEN.

He is a leading advocate for extreme and dangerous so-called “personhood” efforts which, if enacted, could interfere in personal, private medical decisions relating to birth control, and as a state senator, Cuccinelli voted against a measure that would have specified that contraception does not constitute abortion. He is also a leading opponent of the Affordable Care Act and has said opponents of the birth control benefit should be “willing to go to jail” to fight the law. Virginians agree that access to health care and affordable birth control is both an economic and a health issue.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2006–2010, 5.8 million sexually active women aged 15–44 (or 11 percent of sexually active women aged 15–44) had used emergency contraception, compared with 4.2 percent of women in 2002 and less than 1 percent in 1995. In 2006–2010, of women who had ever used emergency contraception, 59 percent had used it once, 24 percent had used it twice, and 17 percent had used it three or more times.

Seven in ten Americans (70 percent) believe that health insurance companies should be required to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they do for other preventive services.

More than a third of female voters have struggled to afford prescription birth control at some point in their lives, and as a result, used birth control inconsistently.

Availability of the pill is responsible for a third of women’s wage increases relative to men.

KEN CUCCINELLI WOULD CUT WOMEN OFF FROM PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S PREVENTIVE HEALTH SERVICES.

He has made defunding Planned Parenthood a top priority, politicizing the high-quality, affordable health care that Planned Parenthood health centers provide to more than 24,000 women and men across Virginia every year. One in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once in her life, not to make a political statement but to get high-quality, affordable health care.

More than 90 percent of the services Planned Parenthood health centers provide are preventive (cancer screenings, STD tests, birth control, etc.). The seven health centers in Virginia see 17,793 patients for birth control information and services and conduct more than 7,500 breast exams and cervical cancer screenings.

More than half of all pregnancies in Virginia are unintended, and in 2010, there were 421,280 women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), in 2011, 39 percent of Virginia’s counties did not have any OB‐GYNs. Rural women have seen a huge increase in the distance they must travel to receive OB-GYN care due to closures. In 2012-2013, 17 percent of women aged 15-44 in Virginia were uninsured.

Virginia ranks in the worst category for rates of breast cancer deaths among both African-American and white women.