The anti-choice attacks continue

We’re one week out from Virginia’s 2011 statewide elections, and the anti-choice attacks continue.

National anti-choice organizations are focused on attacking state Senator Edd Houck (Senate District 17), and they’re using outrageous smears about Planned Parenthood and other women’s healthcare providers to do it, including racially-charged attacks that disrespect black women’s reproductive decisions.

As we told you last week, Senator Houck is not only 100-percent pro-choice, but he is chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Health – the committee where all choice-related bills go in the Senate. This committee is one of the most important obstacles slowing down the anti-choice McDonnell-Cuccinelli agenda. While every vote in the state Senate is vital for protecting choice, Senator Houck is an especially important champion and advocate for women’s freedom, privacy and health. That’s why anti-choice groups are investing so much time and money in attacking him.

Senator Houck’s District 17 stretches between Fredericksburg and Charlottesville, containing the City of Fredericksburg, all of Orange County, and portions of Spotsylvania, Culpeper, Louisa and Albermarle counties. If you or people you know live in this district, make sure they know what’s at stake in this race and that they’re getting out to vote pro-choice on November 8!

With one week to go, we must protect and elect pro-choice champions who will stand up for the women of Virginia. To find out how you can get involved, visit our elections page and spread the word to your friends.

By NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC staff. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Pro-Choice Candidate of the Day: Senator Edd Houck, Senate District 17

We’re just over two weeks away from one of the biggest elections for reproductive choice in Virginia in years. On Tuesday, November 8, Virginians across the state will go to the polls to vote on all 140 General Assembly seats. All this week on the blog, we’ll be spotlighting pro-choice candidates of the day in key races across the state, so you know who will stand up for women’s health in Richmond and who we’re working to help elect this fall!

Senator Edd Houck

Today we continue our series by heading to Senate District 17, which stretches between Fredericksburg and Charlottesville, containing the City of Fredericksburg, all of Orange County, and portions of Spotsylvania, Culpeper, Louisa and Albermarle counties.

In this race, Senator Edd Houck is the pro-choice candidate.

Senator Houck has been in the state Senate for over 25 years and has been a constant, tireless champion for women’s health. Senator Houck is the chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Health, the committee where bills dealing with abortion and reproductive choice and health go in the state Senate. Strong pro-choice leadership on this committee is one of the last obstacles in the General Assembly to stop the anti-choice agenda of Governor Bob McDonnell and his allies. That’s part of the reason anti-choice politicians are working so hard to unseat Senator Houck.

Senator Houck is running against anti-choice candidate Bryce Reeves. Reeves has the support of some of Virginia’s most zealous anti-choice politicians (including Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli) and of the national Family Research Council Action PAC, a group founded by Focus on the Family extremist James Dobson. We can be sure Reeves would toe the line on the radical McDonnell-Cuccinelli agenda in Richmond.

Senator Houck is a strong champion for reproductive freedom, privacy, and the health of women and their families. His constituents in District 17 – as well as Virginians all across the state – need his continued leadership in the state Senate.

As we’ve noted before, Virginia’s state Senate is currently what we call “mixed-choice.” When votes on abortion and other reproductive rights issues come to the floor of the Senate, we do not have a reliable pro-choice majority. We saw the real consequences of this scenario earlier this year as anti-choice legislators snuck through S.B. 924, a bill singling out women’s health centers for new, politically-motivated regulations. As a long-time champion of women’s health, Senator Houck voted against this law because he recognized these regulations for what they are – government intrusion into the private medical decisions of Virginia women that would actually put women’s health and rights in greater danger.

Senator Edd Houck is strong pro-choice leader in Richmond. Learn how you can get involved to get out the pro-choice vote by visiting our Elections page.  Make sure to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 8 and remind all your pro-choice friends to do the same!

By NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC staff. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

5 candidates we definitely don’t want to see in Richmond next year

by: NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC  staff

We’re certainly used to dealing with extreme anti-choice politicians. This election season, however, even we are shocked by some of the candidates running for General Assembly. Here are just a few examples of what we’re up against on Election Day, November 8:

  • Tom Garrett (Senate District 22, between Richmond and Lynchburg) says he supports outlawing abortion with “no exceptions” – not even for victims of rape or incest or to protect a woman’s life or health.
  • Bryce Reeves (Senate District 17 , between Fredericksburg and Charlottesville) is supported by some of Virginia’s most zealous anti-choice politicians and by the national Family Research Council Action PAC, a group founded by Focus on the Family extremist James Dobson.
  • Ben Loyola (Senate District 6 in Hampton Roads) sponsored a fundraiser for a deceptive anti-choice “crisis pregnancy center” that misinforms Tidewater women about abortion, birth control and reproductive health.
  • David Ramadan (House District 87 in Loudoun and Prince William Counties) said in a recent fundraising letter that “the pro-life issue is one of the main reasons I decided to run” and that he would introduce a “spousal consent law” requiring a woman to get her husband’s sign-off on her reproductive choices – something that’s been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court!
  • And of course there’s Dick Black, running in the new Senate District 13 in Loudoun County. As we’ve told you before, he is beyond zealous in his anti-choice stances. He’s notorious for anti-choice crusades as a former state Delegate – including a stunt where he handed out plastic fetus dolls to fellow legislators. From 2003-2005 alone he pursued 18 bills limiting reproductive choice, including “personhood” measures to grant legal rights and standing to fertilized eggs. He not only opposes the right to abortion in any circumstance, but as a Delegate tried to pass laws attacking access to birth control! (You can learn more about Black’s extreme record at www.therealdickblack.com.)

These candidates, and many others like them all across Virginia, are simply beyond the pale. The scariest part? If any of these Senate candidates are elected, their vote could tip the scales in that chamber and remove the only legislative check on the McDonnell-Cuccinelli anti-choice agenda. It could be a free-for-all on women’s reproductive rights. That’s part of the reason politicians like Ken Cuccinelli are focusing on getting rid of pro-choice leadership in the Senate.

But here’s the good news: each of these anti-choice candidates is running against a strong pro-choice candidate who we can count on to represent our values in Richmond. That’s why we’re making sure voters understand the clear options they have in this election and working to get out the pro-choice vote across Virginia.

Make sure you’re ready to vote pro-choice on November 8th!

With only two and a half weeks until Election Day, we’re working harder than ever, and we need your support to keep it up! If you’re concerned about candidates like these making law in Richmond next year, please consider making a contribution to the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Political Action Committee. Every dollar you pitch in will enable us to support pro-choice candidates and reach more voters in critical districts: knocking on more doors, making more phone calls, putting information in more voters’ mailboxes, and getting the word out about the importance of this election. Thanks for your support!

This post is by the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.