Pro-Choice Candidate of the Day: Barbara Favola, Senate District 31

By NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia guest blogger Laura

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

Barbara Favola

We begin today by turning to Senate District 31, which contains portions of Arlington County and heads west along the Potomac through Fairfax County to eastern Loudoun.

In this race, Barbara Favola is the pro-choice candidate.

Virginia Senate District 31′s seat has long been held by pro-choice champion Senator Mary Margaret Whipple. In fact, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia honored Senator Whipple earlier this year with its inaugural Defender of Choice award. This year, Senator Whipple is not seeking reelection – leaving the seat up for grabs in a critical year for women’s health.

Barbara Favola supports access to safe, legal abortion and the protection of women’s health. She also opposes the burdensome, unnecessary targeted regulations passed earlier this year that single out first-trimester abortion providers. They require medically-irrelevant and unnecessary structural changes, such as wider doors and hallways, that are not required of other doctors’ offices performing similar outpatient procedures and are only designed to make it more difficult for abortion providers to operate. If imposed as currently drafted, these regulations could leave Virginia women without access to vital health care. 

Favola has been a member of the Arlington County Board – including terms as vice chairman and chairman – for the last 14 years, and also previously served on the Virginia Board of Health, as appointed by former Gov. Tim Kaine. In addition to supporting reproductive rights and health, she supports equal rights for Virginians regardless of sexual orientation. As a life-long advocate for women’s health and well-being, she has pushed to make mammograms affordable and combat domestic violence.

Her opponent is anti-choice candidate Caren Merrick. Although Merrick has claimed she has “no vested interest in [these new abortion regulations],” her endorsements by anti-choice state officials (Governor Bob McDonnell and extreme anti-choice Delegate Barbara Comstock) and her refusal to stand against politically-motivated anti-choice laws show that she would continue to support the McDonnell-Cuccinelli agenda in Richmond.

Virginia needs as many committed, serious pro-choice lawmakers as we can get, especially in the currently mixed-choice state Senate. We have seen a spate of attacks – sometimes successful – against women’s health in the past two years.  Redistricting has created a new landscape and it is critical that we protect our pro-choice candidates as well as send new pro-choice champions to Richmond.

With Election Day fast approaching, 2011 will prove a critical year for the future of reproductive rights and health policy in our state. In a year in which anti-choice politicians have been steadily working to advance their agenda, Virginia’s pro-choice voters must ensure their voices are heard and that women’s health is protected.

Barbara Favola will be a 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.

Pro-Choice Candidate of the Day: Pamela Danner, House District 34

by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia guest blogger Brett Copeland

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

Pamela Danner

We continue today’s focus on House of Delegates races in House District 34, which is made up of the northern end of Fairfax County along the Potomac River and a corner of Loudoun County. It runs from McLean through Tysons Corner and Great Falls.

In this race, Pamela Danner is the pro-choice candidate.

Pamela Danner, who has lived in McLean for 25 years, is a strong and adamant champion for women’s rights and health and access to safe, legal abortion. She supports access to affordable and common-sense family planning and health care options for Virginians. As she notes on her website, “Pamela believes that deeply personal issues like abortion are between a woman and her doctor and that government should not be controlling these decisions.”

She also has the experience to solve issues facing Northern Virginia. Her work at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as a lawyer, and as a long-time community activist and leader gives Pamela the knowledge and perspective Virginians need in a legislator.

But don’t take just take our word for it: Not only did NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC and The Washington Post endorse Danner, but she also has endorsements from pro-choice and women’s political organizations like EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Women’s Campaign Fund and The Farm Team.

Pamela Danner is running against anti-choice incumbent Delegate Barbara Comstock. As we pointed out two years ago when Comstock was first running to unseat pro-choice Delegate Margi Vanderhye, she has a track record of extreme views on abortion access and reproductive health care. She has received a score of 0% rating on NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s legislative scorecard in both her sessions in office. In this year’s General Assembly session, she voted to:

  • Single out women’s health centers for politically-motivated new regulations that place women’s access to safe, legal abortion in jeopardy. (SB 924 and HB 1428)
  • Grant constitutional rights to zygotes, effectively banning legal abortion and many FDA-approved birth control methods. (House Bill 1440)
  • Prevent a woman from using her own money in the free market to purchase private insurance that would cover abortion care. (House Bill 2147, House Bill 2434)
  • Restore money to failed abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education programs for Virginia youth. (House Bill 1500, amended)

During her campaign, Pamela Danner has been working to expose Del. Comstock’s record of supporting the McDonnell-Cuccinelli anti-choice agenda and pointing out that her positions on these issues are far outside the mainstream of constituents in the 34th District.

One thing is clear in the Commonwealth: We are living in an era that requires creative solutions to complex problems. However, at a time when Virginians are concerned with jobs, transportation and education, anti-choice officials focus on dismantling access to affordable, safe abortion and reproductive care.

We know Pamela Danner will focus on issues that matter to Virginians in the 34th district and be a 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!

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