Home 2019 Elections Where Do Democratic Virginia House of Delegates Candidates in Primaries Stand on...

Where Do Democratic Virginia House of Delegates Candidates in Primaries Stand on the Issues? Part 3: Defending Women’s Reproductive Choice/Access

0

According to VPAP, there are going to be 13 Democratic primaries for House of Delegates this June 11. Who are the candidates and where do they stand on some key issues – moving towards 100% clean energy and protecting the environment, preventing gun violence, defending women’s reproductive choice and access, fighting for LGBT equality, expanding healthcare access and quality, promoting sustainable economic development, addressing the opioid epidemic, etc.? For part 1, on clean energy/environment, click here. For part 2, on preventing gun violence, click here. For part 3, on defending women’s reproductive choice and access, see below (note: I’m sure I didn’t find everything, also surprised how little there is on so many candidates’ websites, so feel free to let me know if you find material that you think should be added…)

House District 18 (Fauquier, Culpeper, Warren, Rappahannock Counties; 60% Gillespie district; Republican incumbent Michael Webert)
Tristan Shields –  I don’t see anything on his website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.
Laura GalanteI don’t see anything on her website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.

House District 20 (Augusta County, Staunton City, Waynesboro City, Nelson County, Highland County; 57% Gillespie district; Republican incumbent Dickie Bell)
Jennifer LewisI don’t see anything on her website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. According to this article, “Lewis favors…abortion rights.” In this op-ed from December 2016, Lewis wrote: ” It is almost 2017. Women should already have complete rights over their bodies and the equality we need and deserve to determine our own futures…When women are forced to have children they can’t afford, it has a ripple effect that is felt throughout society, burdening the economy, and everyone who depends on a strong economic climate — in other words, everyone…Abortion must be an option for women who get pregnant by rape and/or incest. These types of cases involve serious mental health issues like trauma and abuse…Abortion also should be an option after 20 weeks. Abortions this late are extremely rare but are necessary in critical circumstances…We should be expanding sex education, and access to contraception and care. Women should be treated as equal to men and their bodies left out of politics, just like men’s. When was the last time there was a bill introduced to regulate men’s ability to impregnate a woman?”)
David BlanchardI don’t see anything on his website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.

House District 26 (Harrisonburg City, Rockingham County; 53% Gillespie district; Republican incumbent Tony Wilt)
Brent FinneganI don’t see anything on his website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. According to this article, Finnegan believes “abortion is a medical decision that can’t be legislated into a one-size-fits-all situation,” saying, “I don’t think the government should be getting between couples and their doctor to try to make these choices.”
Cathy Copeland I don’t see anything on her website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. According to this article, Copeland said, “I don’t think that Kathy Tran’s bill was a problem, but how she phrased it certainly was.” The article also reports: “But overall, she said while she supports women having their right to choose, the goal should be fewer abortions. ‘I am not in favor of increasing the number of abortions. I want to reduce the number of abortions in a safe and legal way,’ she said.”

House District 38 (Fairfax County; 73% Northam district)
Del. Kaye Kory
– Kory writes: “​As a legislator and a community activist, I have worked to establish women’s reproductive rights and reproductive justice, as well as to bring a high profile to these issues.  Whether a patron of a reproductive rights bill, an anti-discrimination bill or a menstrual equity bill and an advocate for  passage, and working to ensure implementation, I actively seek broader social justice goals in our education system and in our criminal justice system…I became an elected School Board Member and Delegate to pursue equity and create leadership opportunities for women and girls, and strengthen our pro-choice support.Through founding and chairing the Women’s Reproductive Health Care Caucus in the Virginia General Assembly, I have built a strong base to support reproductive justice and push for change…Establishing civil equality and the right to choose reproductive health care should not be the century-long fight that it has become.  Unfortunately, equality looks like a threat to the privileged.  This has been borne out again and again.  Not one more generation of women should have to fight this fight.  Our Constitution must establish legal equality for women.  Until that time, I will fight against gender inequity everywhere I find it.” Del. Kory has consistently received 100% ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. In 2017, NARAL endorsed her for reelection.
Andres Felipe Jimenez I don’t see anything on his website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. [UPDATE: Since I posted this article, the Jimenez campaign added the following language. “I fully support women’s reproductive rights. As the 2019 legislative session again demonstrated, these rights are under constant attack in Virginia. Women should not be subjected to the myriad of medically unnecessary restrictions on their access to abortion that are currently imposed by Virginia law. As your Delegate, I will fight along side my Democratic colleagues to advocate for all women in Virginia.”]

House District 49 (Arlington and Fairfax Counties; 82% Northam district)
Del. Alfonso Lopez –  On his website, it says he “defeated Republican legislation that would limit women’s reproductive choice.” Lopez has consistently received 100% ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. In 2017, NARAL endorsed him for reelection. Also note that Lopez was a patron on Del. Kathy Tran’s bill (HB2491) that eliminated/reduced certain requirements on women seeking an abortion.
J.D. Spain – I don’t see anything on his website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.

House District 50 (Prince William County, Manassas City; 58% Northam district)
Del. Lee CarterOn his website, it says, “Lee is an unapologetic supporter of a woman’s right to choose, and will never support legislation that limits women’s access to healthcare.” Carter was endorsed by NARAL in 2017. Also note that Carter was a patron on Del. Kathy Tran’s bill (HB2491) that eliminated/reduced certain requirements on women seeking an abortion.
Mark WolfeI don’t see anything on his website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. Back in April 2015, Wolfe voted *against* “sweeping changes to the city’s zoning code — changes that opponents said could threaten the survival of the city’s sole abortion clinic.” Also see this story, which reports: “Passed 5 to 1, with council member Mark D. Wolfe (R) casting the dissenting vote, the resolution also says the council’s position is that the Prince William Health District has a mandatory legal duty to enforce all existing and future regulations pertaining to such abortion facilities. ‘Abortion is a terrible thing; almost always, abortion represents a moral failure,” Wolfe said. But “being this is a state political matter, I believe it’s inappropriate…the city, as an entity, take a stance.'”

House District 52 (Prince William County; 76% Northam district)
Del. Luke TorianI don’t see an issues page on his website or any information on his positions regarding women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. Per Project Vote Smart, Torian has received 100% scores for years from NARAL. In April 2017, NARAL tweeted its thanks to Del. Torian “for voting 100% pro-choice in 2017.”
Kevin Wade – Don’t see a website for him.

House District 57 (Charlottesville City, Albemarle County; 79% Northam district)
Sally Hudson I don’t see anything on her website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. She posted on Facebook on February 1, “Third trimester abortions are a political bogeyman. Virginia’s seen zero — zero — in the last three years. For the rare woman who seeks one, however, they’re critical and heart wrenching healthcare.”
Kathy Galvin – I don’t see anything on her website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.

House District 62 (Chesterfield, Henrico, Prince George County and Hopewell City; 49% Gillespie/Northam district)
Tavorise MarksOn his website, he writes: “No one should be able to have the authority to tell any woman what she can and cannot due with her body…. period. This decision should be left to her and her health care provider. Nor should the legislative body prevent her from obtaining the support, assistance, and resources that she rightfully deserves. I will always stand to protect women’s rights and will ensure that women’s care and needs are known and supported in the General Assembly.
Lindsey DoughertyI don’t see anything on her website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.

House District 87 (Loudoun, Prince William Counties; 64% Northam district)
Suhas SubramanyamI don’t see an issues section on his website or anything specifically on women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. [UPDATE: After I posted this article, Subramanyam added an issues section, but I still don’t see anything on women’s reproductive freedom]. He tweeted in October 2018, “We need strong advocates for reproductive health care in Congress!”
Hassan AhmadOn his website, writes: “The only person who should be able to make choices for a woman about her health and life is the woman herself. The distracting tactics of the anti-choice movement cannot be allowed to work – at heart, this is a simple question: should women be able to make their own choices? When faced with this question, the General Assembly must always answer ‘yes’, and support a woman’s right to choose wherever it is threatened.”
Akshay BhamidipatiI don’t see a detailed issues section or anything about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.
Johanna GusmanI don’t see a detailed issues section or anything about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. Has tweeted or retweeted numerous times in support of a woman’s right to choose. For instance, “Doing what I can to stand up for access to and even when March for Life attracts crowd at Virginia State Capitol.”

House District 88 (Spotsylvania, Stafford, Fauquier Counties and Fredericksburg City; 54% Ed Gillespie district; Republican incumbent Mark Cole)
Jess FosterI don’t see anything on her website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.
Kecia S. EvansI don’t see anything on her website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.

House District 91 (Hampton City, York County, Poquoson City; 51% Ed Gillespie district)
Michael Wade I don’t see anything about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia endorsed Wade for Delegate in 2017.
Martha MuglerDon’t see a website yet, so no idea what her positions are on women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.

House District 96 (James City County, York County; 53% Gillespie district)
Rebecca LeserI don’t see anything on her website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access. On Twitter, she wrote, “It’s time to elect a strong progressive woman who cares about protecting my reproductive rights as much as I do.”
Mark DowneyI don’t see anything on his website about women’s reproductive rights/abortion access.
Chris MayfieldOn his website, writes: “These are perilous times for women’s control over their bodies. Chris believes women can be trusted to make their own health care decisions in consultation with their doctors, with no interference from legislators in Richmond. That means rolling back medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion and standing up against any new back-door assaults on women’s constitutional rights.”