Cuccinelli: A record of protecting the most vulnerable

In his first debate with Terry McAuliffe, Ken Cuccinelli used a question posed to him about abortion to take aim at his opponent over his radicalized positions on life issues:

“Terry wants to attack and attack and attack on my consistent position on life but he won’t tell you he supports taxpayer funding for abortion. He won’t tell you he supports abortion right up to the moment of birth. He won’t take a position on sex-selection abortion. He doesn’t support legislation that passed overwhelmingly on a bi-partisan basis that parents should have some involvement and say in their minor daughter’s abortion. You know, I think my position is a lot closer to what most people in Virginia believe than Terry’s is.”

Cuccinelli didn’t hesitate to bring up McAuliffe’s extreme positions. Those positions are predictably ignored by the media – and ignored by Terry’s campaign too, except when he is courting pro-choice donors.

As Shaun Kenney recently observed, the prospect of Ken Cuccinelli in the Governor’s mansion scares the living daylights out of abortion advocates, who have already donated over $100,000 to Terry McAuliffe and spent over 27,000 directly opposing Ken Cuccinelli.

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro Choice America, recently said that Virginia voters can choose between “Terry McAuliffe, who shares the priorities of the women in the state, or Ken Cuccinelli, who has used his office to push an extreme agenda.”

Far from being “extreme,” Cuccinelli’s common sense, life-affirming ethics actually resonate with a majority of Virginia women and men, who support reasonable restrictions on abortion. Even the Washington Post has admitted that legislation banning post-viability abortion in most cases is quite popular among women. Such legislation has not yet advanced in Virginia but if it were to do so, the evidence suggests that most citizens would find it a humane restriction on abortion.

What do Virginia political insiders know about what Cuccinelli called his “consistent position on life”? What scares Hogue and other advocates of abortion on demand so much? Well, Cuccinelli has not only demonstrated his pro-life convictions but he has been a leader in advancing a consistent life-affirming ethic for more than a decade in his public service career. While many Virginia legislators have a life-affirming voting record, Cuccinelli began his career by championing common sense life-affirming legislation in the Senate’s Health and Human Services committee (known at the time as the “committee of death” because of it’s chairman’s commitment to quietly ensuring the death of such bills). Perhaps not coincidentally, that committee chairman, Russ Potts, is now a co-chairman of Virginians for McAuliffe.

Looking for a few examples?

  • Like Virginia’s Choose Life license plates? Thank Ken Cuccinelli. The bill to create the plate was quietly killed in committee, but then Senator Cuccinelli revived it on the floor. choose life virginiaNow pregnancy centers which subscribe to the national Commitment of Care and Competence receive a limited amount funding through the license plate from Virginians that support their mission. You might think that truly pro-choice persons would support pregnancy centers as they help women and men whose choice is life for their baby. Not exactly. Instead, they have attacked Cuccinelli for championing the Choose Life plate based on methods employed by one center that doesn’t even receive funding through the plates (because it does not ascribe to the national Commitment of Care for professional pregnancy centers). Yet such attacks by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia persist and are dutifully reported as fact by the media (not one Politifact investigation here).
  • Cuccinelli repeatedly introduced legislation to protect women’s health and safety by requiring abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers. This legislation was opposed by special interests in the abortion industry for years but finally passed in 2011 and has been implemented under the oversight of Attorney General Cuccinelli. In Virginia, as in other states, such standards have forced abortion clinics to upgrade their quality of patient care, and, in some cases, even resulted in the closure of clinics unable to meet basic standards of care. Advocates of the regulations have celebrated the closure of Hillcrest Clinic in Norfolk as a victory for women and babies. You might expect that everyone should be able to agree that women deserve safe medical conditions wherever they go. Not so. Cuccinelli was savaged in the press and by his opponent for his role as Attorney General in implementing the abortion clinic safety regulations. Yet even Democrat former Attorney General Tony Troy – in public testimony – said that Ken did his job absolutely correctly.
  • Cuccinelli introduced a budget amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. Thanks to his strategic leadership, the state senate joined the House of Delegates in denying Planned Parenthood $200,000 in taxpayer funds. While even many pro-choice Americans oppose using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions, placing Cuccinelli squarely in the mainstream on this issue, abortion advocates have predictably condemned him for it.
  • Yet while Cuccinelli’s consistent leadership on life issues has made him a target in the press, McAuliffe has been given a pass – time after time.

  • No one asks why Wendy Davis (TX-10) – champion of late-term abortions – is sending fundraising emails for Terry McAuliffe?
  • No one (except Ken Cuccinelli, apparently) is asking if McAuliffe supports ANY restrictions on abortion whatsoever… like Virginia’s popular laws ensuring that minors have parental consent before obtaining an abortion and banning the gruesome partial birth abortion procedure?
  • No one is asking Terry if he will use his political capital to increase abortions in the Commonwealth of Virginia… if he supports legislation, like that recently advanced in California, to allow nurses and other non-physicians to perform abortions? if he will submit budgets that include use of taxpayer funds to subsidize abortions?
  • No one is asking Terry McAuliffe if he will protect the rights of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to refuse to participate in procedures that violate their conscience?
  • No one is asking if a McAuliffe administration might conveniently neglect to enforce health and safety requirements for abortion clinics? (Remember, this is the Terry McAuliffe who applauded President Obama when he ILLEGALLY delayed enforcement of the employer mandate in the not-so Affordable Care Act – if that is his view of executive authority, where else might he not be restrained by the rule of law?).
  • Well, now I’m asking. And you should be too.

    Because there is only one candidate in this governor’s race who has a consistent record of protecting the most vulnerable from exploitation – at all stages of life. And there is only one candidate who can be trusted to do so in the future. While a winning candidate must focus on many important policy issues, Ken Cuccinelli has never apologized for his life-affirming record and he never will. And should more common sense abortion restrictions advance through the General Assembly, a Governor Cuccinelli will be right there to sign them.

    It’s no surprise that the legacy media has a double standard on life issues. Charges that a pro-life candidate is “extreme” are frequently repeated without question. The pro-choice candidate is never asked what choices other than abortion they actively support. Nor are they called on their own out-of-the-mainstream advocacy of abortion on demand, without restriction, up until birth, and at taxpayer expense.

    It is up to savvy conservative activists to see through this rather predictable media filter. The best way to advance our conservative policy positions is still to support the candidates who don’t have to be lobbied on the policy positions that are most important to us.

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