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Washington, DC — In response to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell being named chair of the platform committee for the Republican National Convention in Tampa next month, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, issued the following statement:

“This selection is a huge red flag for America’s women. Governor McDonnell has a deeply troubling record on women’s health, including his notorious mandatory ultrasound law that sparked national outrage.

“Women will be the majority of voters in this election. Poll after poll shows that women’s health will be a decisive issue for women voters in this election and Governor McDonnell has shown himself to be completely out of touch when it comes to these issues.

“In the past year alone, Governor McDonnell has shown time and again that he does not share the concerns, priorities, or values of American women. Gov. McDonnell ignored overwhelming outrage when he signed the mandatory ultrasound bill into law; he eliminated state funding for teen pregnancy prevention for the most at-risk youth in Virginia, and he signed temporary, ‘emergency’ anti women’s health regulations to pass them faster and with little public input.”

According to The Washington Post, McDonnell said of the RNC position, “I look forward to hearing from voters across the country as we seek to give voice to the concerns, priorities, and values of the American people. This process is about more than writing; it is about listening.”

BACKGROUND FACTS:

FACT:  In March, Governor McDonnell signed a mandatory ultrasound law that creates new, onerous obstacles for women seeking abortion care that have no basis in medicine.  It forces women to make two trips to access abortion care and requires doctors to perform an ultrasound before performing an abortion. 

FACT:  In June, Governor McDonnell recently eliminated the state’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, which works to reduce unintended teen pregnancy through evidence-based, comprehensive education and health services serving over 4,000 teens in communities with the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state.  The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative was a key part of the state’s teen pregnancy prevention efforts since 1994.

FACT:  In August 2011, Governor McDonnell fast-tracked excessive and onerous temporary regulations for abortion providers on a purported “emergency” basis, thereby limiting public discourse and education on the issue

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