Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott recently told an El Paso audience: “There is no one in the state of Texas who has done more to fight to help women than I have in the past decade.”
It’s a bold choice of words coming from someone who wants to end access to safe and legal abortion, and has supported shutting down 76 women’s health centers across the state. Thousands of women have already been cut off from access to affordable health care because of policies he supports — any more “help” from Greg Abbott and women in Texas will really be out of luck.
This is just the latest attempt by an extreme politician to appeal to women voters despite policies more suited to 1953 than 2013. Case in point: Virginia, where the most anti-woman ticket we’ve ever seen from a major party is on the ballot this fall. In a recent debate against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli even took a page out of Greg Abbott’s book, claiming: “No one up here has done more to protect women … than I have.”
Sound familiar? Just as with Greg Abbott, the problem isn’t what Ken Cuccinelli says — it’s what he believes. His record reads like a Buzzfeed list of the worst anti-women’s health positions we’re seeing from extreme politicians across the country. He wants to ban safe and legal abortion even in the cases of rape, incest or to protect the health of the woman, opposes emergency contraception, and finds no-copay birth control so appalling that he has encouraged his supporters to go to jail for civil disobedience. He bullied a Virginia medical board into passing medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers that have caused health centers to close. He’s a leading advocate for so-called “personhood” efforts, which, if enacted, could interfere in personal, private medical decisions relating to birth control, access to fertility treatment, management of miscarriage, and access to safe and legal abortion.
But here’s the good news: When it comes to Ken Cuccinelli, women in Virginia aren’t buying what he’s selling.
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