By: Marieke van Rijn, Advocacy and Communications Intern
James Harder is a 5th generation Montgomery County resident, PhD student at Virginia Tech, and a 100% pro-choice candidate. Harder is running against anti-choice incumbent Joseph Yost to represent District 12, which includes Montgomery County, Giles County, and Pulaski County and Radford City, in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Harder is the grandson of former delegate Joan Munford, who was a champion of women’s healthcare and reproductive rights during her time. Harder cites the extreme stances Yost took on women’s healthcare as one of the reasons he decided to enter the race. Harder plans to follow in his grandmother’s footsteps to fight for women’s reproductive rights and believes that the discussion of women’s rights should not be limited to reproductive rights- he also plans to advocate for policies that will establish equal pay and maternity leave.
While Harder respects a woman’s right to privacy regarding her reproductive decisions and is an advocate for the various other issues that impact the women of Virginia, incumbent Joseph Yost has a very strong anti-choice voting record. Since being elected in 2011, Yost has voted in favor of every bill that would limit a woman’s rights to a safe and legal abortion. Yost voted to support “personhood” legislation, medically unnecessary ultrasounds, and to prohibit state funding for abortion.
Attacks on women’s right to choose were able to take place because delegates like Joseph Yost supported them. Virginia needs delegates that will support women, not the anti-choice agenda. James Harder will be an advocate for women’s issues in Richmond, which is something the women of Virginia need greatly in the wake of the War on Women. We strongly encourage you to volunteer or donate to James Harder’s campaign.