December 18, 2013
Virginia NOW – representing advocates for women’s rights across the state – mobilized women to vote for Terry McAuliffe because of his commitment to advance the interests of women and families. Gov.-elect McAuliffe’s announcement today of his reappointment of William Hazel as secretary of health and the actions that Hazel will take in that office are the first test of whether and how McAuliffe will keep the promises he made to Virginia women during his long campaign, both to expand Medicaid for low-income Virginians and to ensure reproductive health care is available to women. Both are critical for women and families.
McAuliffe often and prominently stated his promise to be a “brick wall” against further erosion of reproductive health including birth control and abortion. We will be watching the McAuliffe administration closely to see if he keeps his commitments to protect women’s reproductive health access or whether he is trading women’s health for Medicaid expansion.
We are heartened that McAuliffe today specifically mentioned seeking to roll back the medically unnecessary regulations of women’s clinics that have already caused two clinics to close. But stopping the erosion is not enough. Hazel has shown no understanding of women’s reproductive health needs. Women need a clearly stated commitment to expanding reproductive health care in the Commonwealth, which is ranked as one of the worst in the nation.
We placed our trust in McAuliffe based on his promises to women.
We now call on the governor-elect to use all the political and governmental resources at his disposal to make good on his promises.