Welcome back to our new, regular blog series, Virginia Political Pro(choice)files. In this segment, we highlight Virginia’s state politicians who support and fight for women’s reproductive rights while also drawing attention to politicians who are working to undermine the constitutional right to safe and legal abortion. To see how all General Assembly members stacked up in 2011, check out our Legislative Scorecard!
The Political Pro(choice)files: Senator Dave Marsden, D-Fairfax
Senator Dave Marsden is represents Senate District 37, which contains parts of Fairfax County. In addition to his great work on the issue of youth gangs, he has been a constant supporter of women’s health since his election in 2010.
He has supported reproductive choice in Virginia as both a delegate and a state senator.
Senator Marsden worked as the head of the state Department of Juvenile Justice before taking a seat in the Virginia Senate. He is a strong supporter of the best interests of Virginia women, children and families. During this past General Assembly session, he voiced his support for women’s health when he spoke out on the Senate floor against a bill that proposed to regulate abortion providers as a category of hospital. In his inspired speech, Marsden declared:
“In my lifetime there was a constitutional right to vote, but we put obstacles here in Virginia and all throughout Southern states to put an obstacle to people exercising that constitutional right to vote: Poll taxes, literacy tests, of course the argument was well of course we don’t want people voting on that which they don’t understand… I think you need to be careful here how we vote on this and what we’re identifying with…”
This comparison is striking: placing unnecessary barriers in front of citizens attempting to exercise constitutional rights could have dangerous consequences for future generations. The fact is, TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) are limiting the constitutional rights of Virginia women.
Because of his solid stance on reproductive choice issues, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia awarded Senator Marsden a pro-choice rating of 100 percent for the 2011 legislative session. The support of Senator Marsden and other pro-choice allies in the Virginia General Assembly is absolutely crucial. There is a war on women in our state and across the country, and we must maintain our pro-choice champions in Richmond to fight back and protect women’s healthcare.
For more voter information, check out the Virginia State Board of Elections website. Regardless of where you live, all Virginia voters should remember that the general election will be held on November 8th.