From Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:
On Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell revealed plans to single out and de-fund Planned Parenthood upon entering office as Governor of Virginia.
Speaking to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, McDonnell was asked, "Can you promise that as Governor you'll use the veto pen to ensure that Virginians' tax dollars are not used to fund Planned Parenthood or abortion?" McDonnell responded by saying, "Yeah, I've said that I would do that...that'll be part of what we'll get done." (Watch here)
"McDonnell has tried to hide his ideological background throughout this campaign. However, with the polls favoring him to win the Governor's race, he reveals his true colors on conservative talk radio," said Jessica Honke, Director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV). "The fact is Bob McDonnell is out of step and out of touch with voters and the wrong choice for Virginia. As Governor, he will continue the anti-choice and anti-women's health policies he's pushed since his first day in public office."
McDonnell's plan to defund Planned Parenthood is an attack on basic, preventative health care. If Planned Parenthood were defunded, tens of thousands of women and families would lose access to prevention services, including pap smears, cancer screenings, gynecological exams, family planning counseling and services, HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment and a host of community education programs emphasizing healthy relationships and lifestyles. Furthermore, McDonnell's statement is factually inaccurate; no state funding goes to the provision of abortion-related services. In 2008 and 2009, an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood was defeated.
As a legislator, McDonnell sponsored over 35 pieces of legislation designed to chip away at a woman's right to choose. He is opposed to reproductive choice, even in cases of rape or incest, voted to allow pharmacist to refuse Emergency Contraception and supports Bush-era abstinence-only policies that are medically inaccurate and dangerous to teens.
Additionally, he voted against common-sense legislation that would help ensure women could access contraception at their local pharmacy, voted against a bill declaring that contraception was not a form of abortion, voted against allowing public universities to distribute Emergency Contraception, and voted against requiring discussion in schools of the importance of post-rape medical help.
"McDonnell has repeatedly jeopardized women's health through divisive attacks on Planned Parenthood," said Honke, "At a time when more and more families in Virginia are uninsured and under financial strain, we can't afford to elect a Governor who will create more barriers to affordable health care. Virginians are looking for solutions, not politics as usual."