It appears that the repercussions from the massive Republican overreach in Virginia is continuing. This time, as you can see from the press release on the "flip," it's specifically in the area of their all-out assault on women's reproductive freedom. I spoke this morning with former Delegate Kris Amundson, a founding member of the "Women's Strike Force," to better understand what this group's all about. Here are a few key points from the interview.
*According to Amundson, "Republican women are as appalled as Democratic women by the [anti-choice] legislation that has been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly this year, as well as by the decorum on the floor of the House of Delegates, as exemplified by the Dave Albo video."
*This new group will be "a place where men and women appalled by this intrusive legislation" can go.
*The agenda we've seen this year - one that focuses not just on what goes on in women's bedrooms, but what goes on in their bodies - hurts Virginia's image as business friendly and as a great place to raise a family.
*Amundson says she's had women of both parties talk to her about this at the gym and the nail salon, that it's "galvanized women of both parties," that "young women are totally paying attention to this." The bottom line message from all these women: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
*This group is very much open to supporting pro-choice Republicans, the kind that used to exist in Virginia. This group will NOT support anti-choice Democrats. Today, sadly, those moderate, pro-choice Republicans have no home, with the current Virginia Republican Party epitomized by far-far-right-wing Dick Black. 'Nuff said.
*The focus of this group will be on Virginia, starting with the 2013 elections, and continuing as long as the assault on women's reproductive choice continues.
I also spoke to another person with insight into this group, who told me that there was a "big falling out" with the "Farm Team" over abortion, that a lot of pro-choice women left that group when it became clear that the Farm Team wasn't strongly pro-choice, and that's "why the Farm Team's been so ineffective the last couple years." This person also pointed out to me that the Farm Team didn't jump on the "personhood" and "trans-vaginal ultrasound" bills, once again demonstrating their lack of effectiveness and the need for a new group like the "Strike Force." Personally, I'll be interested to see how all these groups work together (or not), whether there's bad blood that hurts all their effectiveness, and also whether there will be a splintering of support across many different groups. Time will tell, I suppose, but for now, I'm happy to see a group with the goals and attitude espoused by the "Strike Force." I wish them well!
NEW WOMEN'S PAC FORMED IN VIRGINIA:
Mission -- To recruit and support candidates to defeat any elected official who supported the "personhood" or mandatory ultrasound legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.
February 27, 2012
A bipartisan coalition of Virginia activists have launched WOMEN'S STRIKE FORCE, a new PAC raising money to recruit and support candidates to
defeat any elected official who supported the "personhood" or mandatory ultrasound legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.
"As a former member of the General Assembly and Virginia's first woman in Congress, I fought for women's rights in the 70's, 80's and 90's. We must
move the Commonwealth and the nation forward, not backslide to denying women rights," says Leslie Byrne, the first woman elected to Congress in
Outraged by the legislative assault on women, the group has united Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to fight for women. Katherine Wadell, an Independent leader and former Virginia Delegate is "angry and fed up with what is happening in the Virginia General Assembly relating to women's reproductive rights and I believe like many women that it is time to take action. It is time to push back against this intrusive legislation into our personal lives."
Virginia's legislative session has received significant national attention over the past week, including The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live sketches. "Between the Trans-vaginal Ultrasound Bill, the Personhood Bill and the improper rant of a Delegate on the House Floor, Virginia has become fodder for ridicule nationally," Wadell commented.
"I am truly embarrassed by the actions of the majority party Members in the House of Delegates and Senate."
Leaders across the Commonwealth of Virginia are motivated to oust the extremists who are depriving women of their reproductive rights. Robin Abbott, a former Delegate to the Virginia General Assembly notes that "The steps that have been taken by lawmakers in Virginia and states across the
country to deprive women of their reproductive rights are a slap in the face to every American wife, mother, sister and daughter in our country."
She urges women across the United States to donate to Women's Strike Force to help defeat those who voted for these two bills. "It is beyond
offensive that legislators are playing politics with women's health. We must join together to fight these extreme ideologues."
Women's Strike Force is led by an impressive leadership team from every corner of the Commonwealth:
• Robin Abbott, Former Virginia Delegate, Newport News, Co-Chair
• Katherine Wadell, Former Independent Virginia Delegate, Richmond, Co-Chair
• Leslie Byrne, First Woman Elected to Congress in Virginia, Fairfax
• Kris Amundson, Former Virginia Delegate, Mt. Vernon
• Margi Vanderhye, Former Virginia Delegate, McLean
• Paula Miller, Former Virginia Delegate, Norfolk
• Mame Reiley, DNC Women's Caucus Chair, Alexandria
• Cynthia Neff, Charlottesville
• Teresa Champion, Springfield
• Rebecca Geller, Fairfax Station
• Kate Goodyear, Fairfax
Donations are accepted at www.womensstrikeforce.org. The PAC can be
followed at www.facebook.com/womensstrikeforce.
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