by Heidi Sieck, Co-Founder/CEO of #VOTEPROCHOICE, “a national political project and technology platform founded in March 2016 by Democrats.com LLC.”
The country is currently enthralled in a presidential election with implications for generations to come. But in a few short weeks, after Americans across the country have cast their ballots and we’ve answered the question of who will reside in the White House until 2025, all eyes will be on Virginia and the Virginia gubernatorial election. Luckily, we already know who the best candidate for Virginians is — because Jennifer Carroll Foy is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate, and we’re proud to endorse her for Governor of Virginia.
In 2017, when we endorsed Jennifer for the first time, it was clear from the beginning that she is a unique champion for families and children.
Pregnant with twins, Jennifer knocked on thousands of doors, championed gender and racial equality, and spoke out for reproductive rights — all with swollen ankles. Her understanding of what Virginian families need is authentic because she’s a working Virginia mom herself.
Whether as a foster mother or an attorney advocate devoted to representing abused and neglected children in court, her values have always been to champion what’s right for families and vulnerable populations. That’s why she defended a young boy who stole a jacket because he was cold, and as a result, was labeled a felon for life simply due to Virginia’s low grand larceny threshold.
Today, Jennifer is an experienced fighter with a record of bipartisan legislative success. Her vote to expand Medicaid helped to extend healthcare coverage to 400,000 additional Virginians, and she successfully led the charge to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia. She also proudly led the fight to end pregnancy discrimination and reduce the maternal mortality rate, two initatives that will give people the support they need as they begin their parenting journey.
Make no mistake, regardless of the presidential election results this fall, our reproductive freedom is more vulnerable today than any other time since the passage of Roe v Wade. Our ability to choose when, if, and with whom to have a child is under direct attack, and for too many people, especially Black pregnant people, pregnancy and childbirth present unnecessary difficulties and dangers. Jennifer knows this, which is why she passed the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act and she championed legislation that would provide 12 weeks paid family leave.
Last year, when a flurry of abortion bans passed in response to the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, Jennifer stepped up for Virginia and challenged medically unnecessary targeted laws that aim to close clinics. One of these regulations requires that clinics providing abortion care must have fixed specifications for the type of fabric used on window coverings — a requirement that no other physicians clinics must follow. With Jennifer Carroll Foy as governor, we know that Virginia will end these kinds of shady political attacks, and she will do what is right for the patient and their family.
Every one of us deserves the right to make decisions about our own futures – that’s what reproductive freedom is all about. We deserve to raise families in safe communities, and build sustainable and happy lives on our own terms, when and if the time is right. With Jennifer Carroll Foy paving the way for Virginia — just as she did at the Virginia Military Institute, as the first public defender elected to the Virginia State House, and as a working mother standing up for what’s right — we can unlock our full potential knowing that our families are in safe hands.
Heidi Sieck is the co-founder and CEO of #VOTEPROCHOICE, a project of Democrats.com LLC, founded in March 2016, to inform and engage the nation’s prochoice majority. This is the first endorsement in the 2021 Virginia Gubernatorial race by any reproductive freedom organization.