According to the Washington Post, Virginia has just been ranked the number one state for business. Governor McDonnell credited the awarding of this new ranking to “keeping taxes low, getting government spending under control, [and] having a strong right-to -work law.” In other words, freedom to run a business without unwarranted or unnecessary burden is key to economic growth in our state.
Unfortunately, the focus on protecting and promoting Virginia business does not extend to women’s healthcare.
As we revealed in our recent video on Governor McDonnell’s war on women’s health, Virginia is ranked 39 (out of 50 states and DC) in terms of access to reproductive healthcare. Eighty-six percent of Virginia counties have no dedicated abortion provider. In addition to limited options for women seeking safe, legal abortion care in Virginia, Governor McDonnell and his allies have pursued an aggressive political agenda continuing to undermine women’s health. Since 2010, Virginia’s anti-choice politicians have:
- Blocked low-income women’s access to abortion when their health is at risk.
- Banned Virginia women from using their own money to purchase private insurance coverage for abortion care, even in tragic health-threatening and fetal anomaly cases.
- Approved a bill calling for new, unwarranted regulations to turn first-trimester abortion providers into hospitals.
- And restored nearly $900,000 in funding for failed, “abstinence-only-until-marriage” programs for our youth.
But don’t just take our word for it. PolitiFact verified our “By the Numbers” video earlier this week.
This fall will be a pivotal point for continued access to reproductive choice in the Commonwealth and our chance to change the score. We have to make sure that Virginia moves forward and not backward.
To avoid hypocrisy, Governor McDonnell and our elected officials should support the same freedom for Virginia women that they believe is so essential for Virginia business.