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Herring, Waddell Kick of Week of Focus on Cuccinelli’s Extreme Anti-Women’s Health Agenda


Herring, Waddell Kick of Week of Focus on Cuccinelli’s Extreme Anti-Women’s Health Agenda

Bipartisan leaders highlight Cuccinelli’s efforts to ban common forms of birth control 

Richmond, VA – Today on a media conference call, Delegate and Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Charniele Herring and former Republican and Independent Delegate Katherine Waddell discussed how extreme and dangerous Ken Cuccinelli’s “personhood” agenda is to the health of Virginia women.

“We’ve seen some 'personhood' bills that seek to outlaw abortion by defining life as beginning at 'conception,'” said Herring. “What Cuccinelli did was take it a step further by introducing a bill that defined it as beginning 'at the moment of fertilization.'”

“The practical result of that would have been to ban any birth control that prevents a fertilized egg from resulting in a pregnancy. That includes highly common forms like the birth control pill.”

Waddell continued, “Recognizing a woman’s constitutionally-protected right to make those decisions isn’t about partisan politics – it’s about keeping women healthy and keeping Virginia’s economy growing.

“Ken Cuccinelli’s personhood legislation was a particularly vicious attack, not only on abortion rights, but also on Virginia women’s access to many forms of FDA-approved birth control. The stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines and let Ken Cuccinelli force his extreme agenda on Virginia women and their families.”

Today’s call kicked off a week of activities aimed at educating Virginians about Cuccinelli’s extreme record on women’s health before Republicans finalize his nomination for Governor this Saturday in Richmond.

“This week, as Republicans prepare to finalize Ken Cuccinelli's nomination to be their candidate for Governor, we’re probably going to see a pretty blatant attempt at an extreme makeover for Cuccinelli,” continued Herring. “That’s why the Democratic Party of Virginia, as well as concerned Virginia Republicans and independents, are ready to take action to make sure the people of this Commonwealth know how extremely dangerous Ken Cuccinelli’s agenda is to the health of Virginia women.”


Background on Cuccinelli’s Extreme Personhood Agenda


Cuccinelli Cosponsored Personhood Bill in 2007

In February 2007, Sen. Cuccinelli cosponsored legislation introduced by Del. Bob Marshall that would prove that “the right to enjoyment of life” guaranteed by Article 1, § 1 of the Constitution of Virginia applies to “preborn human beings from the moment of fertilization.”  The bill failed in the House. [HB 2797, 2/5/07]

American Congress Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists: Personhood Defined at Moment of Fertilization Would “Deny Women Access To The Full Spectrum Of Preventive Health Care, Including Contraception”

In February 2012, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement: “Although the individual wording in these proposed measures varies from state to state, they all attempt to give full legal rights to a fertilized egg by defining “personhood” from the moment of fertilization, before conception (ie, pregnancy/ implantation) has occurred. This would have wide-reaching harmful implications for the practice of medicine and on women's access to contraception, fertility treatments, pregnancy termination, and other essential medical procedures.” [American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2/10/12]


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Under Personhood Law Defined at Moment of Fertilization “Most Effective and Reliable Forms of Contraception such as Oral Contraceptives” Could Be Banned 

In February 2012, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a statement: “These ‘personhood’ proposals, as acknowledged by proponents, would make condoms, natural family planning, and spermicides the only legally allowed forms of birth control. Thus, some of the most effective and reliable forms of contraception, such as oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and other forms of FDA-approved hormonal contraceptives could be banned in states that adopt ‘personhood’ measures.” [American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2/10/12]

Hormonal Birth Control Makes It Less Likely For A Fertilized Egg To Attach To The Uterus


According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “hormonal birth control methods work by releasing hormones to prevent ovulation. The cervical mucus thickens, making it hard for a sperm to reach the egg. The endometrium thins, making it less likely that a fertilized egg will attach to it.” [American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, June 2012]

Virginians For Life: HB 2797 Would “Dismantle The Tragic Roe V. Wade Decision”

In February 2007, the Petersburg Progress-Index published a letter to the editor from Bob Kline, a member of Virginians for Life. The letter praised the Virginia Life at Conception Act, saying that it “would dismantle the Tragic Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the murder of innocent children on demand.” [Petersburg Progress-Index, letter to the editor, 2/5/07]

Virginians For Life: HB 2797 Would End Planned Parenthood’s “Lucrative And Grisly Trade In Human Flesh”

In February 2007, the Petersburg Progress-Index published a letter to the editor from Bob Kline, a member of Virginians for Life. The letter said: “I believe the 20,000 unborn babies who die every year in Virginia deserve our continued sacrificial efforts. Planned Parenthood fully understands that a Virginia Life at Conception Act can end their lucrative and grisly trade in human flesh.” [Petersburg Progress-Index, letter to the editor, 2/5/07]

Cuccinelli's Bill Similar to Mississippi Personhood Bill that Defined Life As Beginning From Fertilization

In November 2011, the Huffington Post reported: “Mississippi voters Tuesdaydefeated a ballot initiative that would've declared life begins at fertilization, a proposal that supporters sought in the Bible Belt state as a way to prompt a legal challenge to abortion rights nationwide.” [Huffington Post, 11/8/11]

Cuccinelli Pushed for Passage of 2012 Personhood Bill 

In February 2012, the News and Advance reported, “Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University's law school, spoke at a rally Wednesday supporting the “personhood” bill making its way through the General Assembly. They urged a crowd on Capitol Square to contact state senators who will soon vote on House Bill 1, passed by the House of Delegateson Tuesday. The measure extends fundamental rights claimed in the Declaration of Independence to unborn children, both Cuccinelli and Staver said. ‘This personhood bill recognizes a scientific reality. Life begins at conception,’ said Cuccinelli, a candidate for governor. ‘Make sure you talk to your senators. Advocate for this issue.’” [News and Advance, 2/16/12]

National Infertility Association: Under Personhood Bill, In-Vitro Fertilization “Will Be Unlawful”


In February 2012, Barbara Collura, executive director of the National Infertility Association issued a press release that said: “Even though assisted conception is currently lawful in Virginia and even mentioned in Virginia Code Section 20-156, HB1 is designed to change that and to make any action that risks a microscopic embryo unlawful.  So, Section 7's supposed exemption for assisted conception is really no protection at all; IVF as practiced to the standard of care will be unlawful.” [RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, 2/16/12]

AP: Personhood Bill “Would Effectively Outlaw All Virginia Abortions”


In February 2012, the AP reported: “Del. Bob Marshall's House Bill 1 would effectively outlaw all Virginia abortions by declaring that the rights of persons apply from the moment sperm and egg unite.” [AP, 2/15/12]

Cuccinelli Opposed Abortion “Even In Cases Of Rape Or Incest”

In August 2002, the Washington Post reported that Cuccinelli “imbued the campaign with his antiabortion message. Cuccinelli opposes the procedure even in cases of rape or incest.” [Washington Post, 8/7/02]



Paid for by the Democratic Party of Virginia


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