Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mark Obenshain and the Republican War on Women

The Republican Party of Virginia has waged a sustained war on the rights of women in Virginia, specifically on choice and on access to reproductive healthcare and contraception. It is an issue with all three of the Republican statewide candidates, but particularly with Senator Mark Obenshain, who in 2009 attempted to criminalize miscarriages, and would have required women to report their miscarriages to police within 24 hours or face criminal charges. It is simply amazing to me that a so-called conservative would attempt to insert the government into a family at a moment of such personal tragedy.

The Republican Party has decided to insert itself between women and their doctors. They have proposed all kinds of whacky laws to interfere with a woman's right to choose. Republicans support everything from transvaginal probes to funding so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" that provide false information to women. Mark Obenshain even tried to prevent women who were victims of rape or sexual assault from receiving emergency contraception pills to prevent them from becoming pregnant as the result of rape. Republicans like Mark Obenshain must be stopped at the ballot box.

For some additional context, here is a video I shot on February 16, 2012 when an organization called RESOLVE held a press conference to express opposition to a Republican personhood bill.

The Republican-dominated Virginia House of Delegates had overwhelmingly passed HB1—the Virginia Personhood Bill. Personhood Bills endanger the practice of IVF and the treatment of infertility. If an embryo is defined as a person and is given the same rights as a person this could make it nearly impossible for doctors to practice IVF in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Doctors and patients could be held criminally liable for anything that happens to that embryo. RESOLVE is opposed to ALL Personhood Bills.

Barbara Collura, Executive Director of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, announced the organization's position on the legislation in Richmond, Virginia on February 16, 2012. Virginia Reproductive Endocrinologists and infertility patients also commented on HB1.

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