What in the hell is NARAL Virginia doing?
You may have seen their ads on Blue Virginia attacking Bernie Sanders on abortion which seem grossly irrelevant to the current governor’s race. The apparent relationship however is that Bernie Sanders recently joined with John Podesta, Elizabeth Warren and dozens of Obama alums in endorsing Tom Perriello for Governor. But for some reason, as the Democratic party continues to join together against Donald Trump and his neo-crazy agenda, NARAL-VA appears to be more interested in re-litigating Bernie Sanders.
Neither candidate for governor has been perfect — Perriello was trying to do a song and dance with Virginia’s 5th on the Stupak amendment, and a significant number of the anti-choice judges currently on the federal bench are courtesy of Ralph Northam’s preferred presidential candidate in ’00 and ’04, George W. Bush. I’m guessing voting for Bush is negotiable for NARAL-VA? Moving on…
We have two excellent candidates for governor in Virginia. Rather than enjoy this fact, we have organizations like NARAL running disingenuous and misleading attack ads against Sanders, who has consistently received a top rating of 100% from NARAL. Can’t help but think of the saying “with friends like these…” This style of attack does nothing to promote women’s health or protect access to abortion and reproductive rights.
Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam are both outstanding individuals and candidates, who have proven themselves as dedicated public servants and that’s why the race is so competitive. It is unfortunate that NARAL’s Virginia chapter has chosen to divide and distract rather than building on the core positivity and energy surrounding these candidates.
Disclaimer – I am voting for Perriello, but will proudly vote, volunteer and financially support whoever emerges as the winner of Virginia’s Democratic primary. I have donated to pro-choice groups and worked on digital advocacy projects for them, including working with NARAL to launch the first web app using geolocation to provide women with the location, business hours, contact information and directions for accessing emergency birth control.
Brendan Lilly is a veteran of dozens of Democratic campaigns and is the CTO of VIA Global Health.