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Who to believe? Mark Obenshain or Mark Obenshain?

by: ProgressVA

Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 15:14:44 PM EDT

State Senator Mark Obenshain has spent his career building a reputation as a staunch conservative. So, Obenshain's recent statements distancing himself from his own record are more than a bit curious. Today, ProgressVA released a new video examining Obenshain's record.

"Virginians deserve to know where Mark Obenshain stands," said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. "Virginians can see through this sort of doublespeak, where politicians say one thing and do another. The truth is Mark Obenshain has worked to ban abortion in Virginia, prosecute women at their most vulnerable, and deny LGBT Virginians protection from being fired because of who they love. Those aren't Virginia values."

Background below the fold.

ProgressVA :: Who to believe? Mark Obenshain or Mark Obenshain?

On personhood:

Mark Obenshain and Ken Cuccinelli cosponsored 2007 personhood legislation. [HB2797]

The Associated Press described HB2979, sponsored by Obenshain and Cuccinelli, as a "bill that could have banned abortions", explaining "by giving embryos the constitutional protection of personhood from the instant of fertilization, abortions of all types would become illegal." [Associated Press, 2/6/2007]

Obenshain was the chief patron of 2011 legislation which would give fetuses "enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth." [SB1207]

Obenshain opposed a motion to kill 2012 personhood legislation by sending it back to the Senate Education and Health Committee [Virginia Legislative Information System, HB1]  

Obenshain told the Jack Gravely Show, "I don't get to decide when or whether abortion is legal in Virginia." The full interview with the Jack Gravely show is available online at

On miscarriage:

Obenshain introduced legislation in 2009 that would criminalize women who failed to report a miscarriage to the police. [SB962]

Obenshain introduced the miscarriage legislation four years after Delegate John Cosgrove introduced a nearly identical bill which generated widespread ridicule and outrage. The bill was pulled by the sponsor [Daily Press, 1/13/05]

On workplace discrimination:

Obenshain voted against workplace protections against discrimination for gay and lesbian Virginians in 2013, 2011, and 2010. [SB701, SB747, SB66]

Obenshain introduced legislation in 2013 to legalize state-funded discrimination in higher education clubs and associations. [SB1074]

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