Anti-Choice Incumbent Spotlight: Delegate Robert Bell HD 58

Anti-Choice Delegate Robert Bell
Anti-Choice Delegate Robert Bell

This November, pro-choice candidate Cynthia Neff is challenging Delegate Rob Bell in Virginia’s 58th district. As the current Chair of the AIDS/HIV Services Group Board of Directors for the Legal Aid Justice Center, Cynthia has already made an important contribution to the fight for reproductive healthcare.

 Delegate Rob Bell, on the other hand, has served as an adamant anti-choice delegate for far too long.  Over the past four years, Delegate Bell has had over 18 opportunities to support legislation protecting a woman’s body and her access to comprehensive health care. Only once (again, out of 18 bills) has he cast the correct vote to protect women’s health. Just to give you a taste of what kinds of legislation Delegate Bill chose to stand behind last year, check out the list below:

–          Delegate Bell voted YES to mandate medically unnecessary ultrasounds before an abortion.

–          Delegate Bell voted YES to require physicians to distribute medically disputed information to women wanting an abortion.

–          Delegate Bell voted YES to stream funding from the sale of “Choose Life” license plates to Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Virginia.

–          Delegate Bell voted YES on complicated and entirely unnecessary architectural, procedural, staffing and equipment requirements for abortion providers.

–          Delegate Bell voted YES to limit low-income women’s access to abortion.

–          Delegate Bell voted YES to prohibit all state support of Planned Parenthood.

Since 2005, Delegate Bell has received an abysmal score on the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia legislative scorecard, a record especially concerning to pro-choice women voters in the 58th District. Delegate Bell’s voting record is even more upsetting considering that he is a member of the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee which reviews all health-related legislation, including women’s reproductive health.

For example, the Committee recently debated HR 2373, a bill protecting women from the anti-choice pharmacists who are refusing to fill women’s birth control prescriptions before confiscating the prescriptions themselves. We would hope that the Delegates who sit on the Health Committee would have a strong commitment to providing affordable, comprehensive healthcare. Obviously, Delegate Bell does not share our same values.

It is time for Richmond to change the way it approaches women’s reproductive health, especially abortion services. This change will not come unless we elect more pro-choice candidates than ever this November. Cynthia Neff is one candidate who we can’t afford to lose. Join us in making sure that Delegate Bell has no more opportunities to curtail women’s health in Virginia by supporting Cynthia Neff in her race for Delegate!

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