Besides being the first attorney general in the country to file a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), many people still don’t know much about Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia. Here’s a quick primer on where Ken Cuccinelli stands when it comes to women’s health.
- Cuccinelli is against abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.
While 70 percent of Americans do not want to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade that abortion should be safe and legal, Cuccinelli proves how just far out of the mainstream he is by opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.He has done everything he can to throw roadblocks in the way of women who may want to access a safe and legal abortion — he has bragged about casting the “deciding vote” to overturn the governor’s veto of a so-called “partial birth” abortion ban, he authored Virginia’s parental consent for abortion law. He also supports 24-hour waiting periods before a woman can get an abortion. [Cuccinelli.com via Way Back Machine, accessed 12/6/12; Cuccinelli.com, Issues, accessed 12/7/12]
- Cuccinelli supports letting your employer decide whether you get access to affordable birth control.
Recently, Cuccinelli not only affirmed his opposition to birth control as preventive care, he believes that opponents of no co-pay birth control (as provided in the Affordable Care Act) should be willing to “go to jail” to fight the law, proving yet again how little he cares about women’s health and economic security. He says this, in spite of the fact that 7 out of 10 Americans believe that health insurance companies should cover the full cost of birth control, as required by the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control benefit. [Associated Press, 1/10/13]This one’s a two-parter: Cuccinelli has doubled down on his assertion that opponents to the birth control benefit should be willing to go to jail by comparing himself to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who urged civil disobedience to fight racial discrimination. [Talking Points Memo, 1/22/13]
- Cuccinelli is a leading advocate for an extreme and dangerous “personhood” bill. Cuccinelli once co-sponsored and is now a leading advocate for a bill that would define a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, which he calls “a scientific reality”.If enacted, so-called “personhood” efforts could interfere with personal, private, medical decisions relating to birth control, access to fertility treatment, management of a miscarriage, and access to safe and legal abortion. [HB 2797, 1/10/07; The News & Advance, 2/15/12]
- Cuccinelli introduced an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood in Virginia. In a letter clarifying his motives for introducing this bill, he writes, “[L]et’s dispense with the outrageous notion that Planned Parenthood is reducing teenage pregnancy on some mythical altruistic basis. Planned Parenthood reduces teen pregnancy by providing abortions, which both makes Planned Parenthood a lot of money and ends a pregnancy.”He goes on to suggest the sex-ed programs run by Planned Parenthood are really just a way to introduce their organization and offer “abortion on demand to our children.” Apparently he doesn’t realize that sex education prevents unintended pregnancies, and that states with abstinence-only programs have the highest rate of teen pregnancies. [Virginian-Pilot, 3/7/08; Think Progress, 4/10/12]
- Cuccinelli supported targeted restrictions of abortion providers (TRAP) that have caused health centers to close. Last year, Virginia passed a number of excessive and onerous regulations that had nothing to do with supporting women’s health and everything to do with politics.When the Board of Health ruled that the state’s existing health centers would be exempt from the new regulations, Cuccinelli refused to sign the Board of Health’s recommendations and warned members that if they were sued, he would not represent them. As the Washington Post defined it, “The move is classic Cuccinelli: ideological activism masquerading as professional legal ‘advice.’” [Mother Jones, 9/14/12; Washington Post, 7/27/12]