If Mark Obenshain really thinks he can fool the voters of Virginia into thinking he's suddently reinvented himself – after years of being a right-wing, theocratic culture warrior of the first order – naming the author of the "transvaginal ultrasound" bill as his campaign co-chair certainly isn't the way to do it. Perhaps this guy’s real name should be ObenSHAME (on him) for the blatant disregard for the truth he's been showing in this campaign (at least since he won the nomination at the Teapublican's wingnut convention and has bet his campaign on the assumption that Virginia voters have amnesia). For more, see the press release from the Mark Herring for AG campaign below (and on the “flip”).
OBENSHAIN ‘REINVENTS’ HIMSELF BY NAMING AUTHOR OF TRANSVAGINAL ULTRASOUND BILL CO-CHAIR OF CAMPAIGN
Right-wing Legislator Again Tries To Obscure His Record in the Senate
Yesterday the Richmond Times-Dispatch again reported that Senator Mark Obenshain forgot (or hoped that all Virginians forget) his entire Senate career which has focused mainly on divisive social issues, including attacking women’s access to health care and opposing non-discrimination policies.
“Only in Senator Obenshain’s world can it be called more ‘inclusive’ to name the author of the radical transvaginal ultrasound bill as your co-chair. It’s stunning how Obenshain’s amnesia about his own record is growing – he apparently keeps forgetting about his record of attacking women for making their own health care decisions and opposing efforts to prevent discrimination in state hiring,” Senator Mark Herring, the Democratic nominee for Attorney General said.
Now that Obenshain has made it through the same Tea Party convention that nominated E.W. Jackson, he says he is pushing an ‘inclusive campaign’ saying he is not focused on social issues.
But while doing this, Obenshain named Senator Jill Holtzman-Vogel as a co-chair of his campaign. Vogel of course is known for introducing the transvaginal ultrasound bill which set off a huge firestorm last year that resulted in women being arrested outside the Capitol.
Mark Obenshain referred to the transvaginal ultrasound legislation as “common sense.”
Mark Obenshain has been one of the most extreme, right-wing members of the State Senate when it comes to women’s health. Obenshain’s radical record includes:
Co-Patroning the “Personhood” Bill With Ken Cuccinelli. Obenshain has repeatedly supported “personhood” legislation that would outlaw all abortion and many common forms of birth control. [HB2797, 2007; HB1, 2012]
Voting For Mandatory Ultrasounds Before Abortions. Obenshain voted for legislation that would require all women receiving an abortion procedure to undergo a mandatory ultrasound [HB462, 2012; SB484, 2012]
Introducing A Bill That Would Require Women To Report Miscarriages To Police. “Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, made himself a lightning rod for criticism by introducing a bill that would require a woman to report her miscarriage to police within 24 hours.” [SB 962, 2009; Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 1/28/09]
Sponsoring a Bill To Outlaw Abortions After Twenty Weeks, Also Known As The Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Or Fetal Pain Act. In February 2012, the Daily Press reported: “Sen. Harry Blevins, R-Chesapeake, abstained Thursday, thereby killing a measure before the Senate Education and Health Committee that would have outlawed elective abortions in Virginia after 20 weeks. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, would have made elective abortions after 20 weeks because he said there is medical evidence that a fetus can feel pain at that point in its gestation. The measure would have allowed abortions after that point if the mother’s life or health is threatened.” [Daily Press, 2/2/12; SB 637, 2012]
Additionally, Mark Obenshian has opposed efforts to be “inclusive,” including opposing non-discrimination policies earlier this year and walking out of the Senate instead of voting on the nomination of an openly gay judge. Here is some of Mark Obenshain’s real record when it comes to LGBT rights:
Voting against non-discrimination. Mark Obenshain voted against adding sexual orientation to Virginia’s nondiscrimination policy in 2010 and a similar measure in 2013 to prohibit discrimination in public employment. [SB66, 2/8/10; SB701, 1/25/13]
Walking out on Thorne-Begland. Mark Obenshain, in 2013, was among 12 Republicans who walked out of the chamber rather than oppose a gay judicial nominee. [Richmond Times-Dispatch’s, Jeff Schapiro Column, 01/18/13]
Opposing to sign non-discrimination pledge. Mark Obenshain has refused to sign the Equality Virginia non-discrimination pledge. [Equality Virginia Scorecard, 2012]
A shill for the Family Foundation. Mark Obenshain recently earned a perfect score of 100 from the Family Foundation of Virginia, a conservative interest group, for voting according to their recommendations on ‘pro-family’ legislation, including four anti-LGBT-related issues. [Family Foundation Scorecard, 2012-2013]
Discriminating against gay student groups. Mark Obenshain, in 2013, introduced and voted for a bill that, according to the ACLU and opponents, was intended to allow student groups to discriminate against gay students. [SB 1074, 2013 and Washington Post, 02/06/13]
Favoring a ‘conscience clause.’ Mark Obenshain voted in favor of a 2012 ‘conscience clause’ bill allowing child-placement agencies to discriminate against prospective parents on the basis of sexual orientation, among other factors. [SB349, 2/9/12]