Everyone told me that running for office would make my private life more public. My family and I were prepared for the increased scrutiny, but no one could prepare us for multiple death threats, people coming to my home to intimidate me and my children, and my family being a victim of swatting, the false reporting of a violent emergency situation that resulted in an unnecessary law enforcement response at our home. This all happened after GOP operatives leaked videos of me and my husband. And now they are sending photos from these videos to the press and to voters.
Through my initial anger, disappointment, and shock, it became clear to me that these coordinated attacks on me and my family expose exactly who my opponent and the Virginia GOP really are: politicians who feel they have a right to know what goes on in our private lives and the power to control what we do with our bodies. It shows their anti-women agenda, foreshadowing how they would govern and use their legislative power to shame and control Virginians if elected to office.
Look no further than my opponent’s plan to “outlaw abortion.” He doesn’t care that a recent Washington Post-Schar School poll found that 75% of Virginians want abortion laws to be less strict or remain the same. Poll results from The Wason Center at Christopher Newport University found that abortion is one of the top issues for voters and that they want to keep abortion laws the same. Nationally, Americans overwhelmingly support protecting access to abortion.
If elected to the House of Delegates, David Owen will vote to ban abortion. He is intent on controlling all of our lives, decisions, and bodies. He’s supported by Students for Life, an organization that wants to completely ban abortion, with no exceptions for rape and incest, and doesn’t even support hormonal birth control. Owen also supports anti-abortion centers that try to deceive pregnant people about their health care options.
But Owen’s not alone: Governor Youngkin hasn’t been shy about his plan to sign an abortion ban. And extreme anti-abortion candidates in Virginia are vying for the chance to deliver on his agenda. They’re using every trick they can think of to win. They’re spreading dangerous misinformation about essential health care, scrubbing their websites of their true intent to ban abortion, and being caught on video expressing their extreme views.
They don’t want us to notice these tricks and lies. It’s easier to talk about my body than it is to defend a party platform that dehumanizes people, threatens women and their providers, and makes raising a family in the Commonwealth more difficult.
They refuse to address the real issues Virginians are dealing with.
As a Nurse Practitioner, I know what issues are top of mind in our community because I see how it impacts my patients. They are concerned about losing access to reproductive healthcare. Concerned about our schools and the teacher shortage we’re seeing across the Commonwealth. The rising cost of healthcare and other essential daily necessities. And they’re fed up that politicians in Richmond are unable to take basic, commonsense measures to end the epidemic of gun violence.
Despite the GOP’s desperate attempts to distract voters, I will keep fighting for the things that matter to this community. I got into this race to stand up for our rights after Roe v. Wade was overturned. I know that if extreme MAGA Republicans like my opponent, David Owen, win this election, we will see an abortion ban in Virginia. We will see a less safe Commonwealth where people have fewer rights than generations before.
The real issues in this election are clear. There’s so much on the line, including our right to have a safe and legal abortion. I’m the only candidate in this race who will fight every day to protect the rights, safety, and well-being of Virginians.