Dr. John M. O’Bannon III, a Richmond neurologist, is the Republican incumbent for House district 73. He hasn’t had a challenger in years, but the rising blue tide is lapping at his feet: The 73rd went for Clinton-Kaine by SEVEN points and FOUR Democrats took the plunge to oppose O’Bannon. Dr. Debra Rodman emerged as the winner of the firehouse caucus, and we in the district are psyched. With Democratic energy on the rise, the Trump scandal turning away rational Republicans increasingly by the day, and primary turnout for Ed Gillespie gaspingly flaccid, this district is FLIPPABLE.
The doctor who loves guns, hates the poor, and shames women
Not that we won’t have a battle: O’Bannon has the reputation of being a nice guy and he gives off a moderate vibe. But when you dig into his voting record – not so much. I was shocked at what I found, and other voters will be, too. For example, O’Bannon voted to criminalize self-inflicted abortions and to make it possible to bring a wrongful death civil cause of action when a fetus dies because of the mother’s [alleged] negligence. And these are just two examples (see below). It is astonishing to me that a doctor has supported policies that have limited healthcare and will lead to higher mortality rates and more suffering. Some of his positions run afoul of those taken by the American Medical Association and of research by, for example, the Harvard School for Public Health.
What the hell kind of a doctor:
- brags about his NRA endorsement and A rating.
- regularly gets a 90-100% pro-gun rating from the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which makes the NRA folks look like pudgy little Golden Retriever puppies.
- has cast numerous votes against Medicaid expansion, which would have given 400,000 Virginians access to better medical care and brought economic benefits to the whole state.
- spreads lies about Planned Parenthood. Note that his February 1 statement came one week after Planned Parenthood was cleared of any wrongdoing by a Texas grand jury that in fact turned around and brought felony charges against the producers of the video on which O’Bannon had relied for his information. Many states had already investigated these allegations and found no wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood.
- has regularly received 90-100% ratings from the ultra-conservative Family Foundation, voting:
- to criminalize self-inflicted abortions;
- to provide for a wrongful death civil cause of action when fetuses die as a result of their mothers’ negligence;
- to require women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound and to require that they be offered view of it;
- to prohibit state funding for Planned Parenthood;
- in favor of the (Virginia version of) the Hyde Amendment which, with some exceptions, prevents low-income women seeking abortions from having access to taxpayer funds;
- in favor of TRAP legislation, which imposed burdensome regulations on abortion clinics in an effort to shut them down;
- to recognize the anniversary of Roe v. Wade as a “Day of Tears;”
- to require that school Family Life Education courses emphasize abstinence as the accepted norm for behavior;
- to prohibit state funding of embryonic stem cell research;
- to repeal the mandate for the HPV vaccine, which is expected to lower the mortality rate from cervical cancer.
Is there a (different) doctor for the House?
We clearly need to switch up. How about we get a doctor for the House who has compassion for the vulnerable and who understands the real-world ramifications of healthcare legislation? Who believes in women’s reproductive rights and who would never ever vote for legislation that would prevent 400,000 people from getting proper healthcare?
Help us get Dr. Debra Rodman elected! Debra will be one more voice of reason in the General Assembly and one more enlightened vote to help advance Ralph Northam’s agenda. Democrats and progressives everywhere have an interest in flipping this seat. Please go to Debra’s website and Facebook page to learn more about her and consider donating – small amounts welcome! – or volunteering. Let’s turn that rising blue tide into a tidal wave this November!