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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 20, 2012

McDonnell Endorsement of Romney Puts "Personhood" Back in the Headlines

Extreme anti-choice proposal endorsed by Romney is also on Virginia’s legislative agenda

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s endorsement of former Gov. Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential primary is further evidence of Romney’s extreme anti-choice views.

“This endorsement reminds voters that former Gov. Romney is not a moderate alternative to the remaining GOP candidates,” Keenan said. “McDonnell is the head of a state government that is becoming increasingly hostile to women’s freedom and privacy, and now Romney is tied to this agenda, which is out of touch with our nation’s values and priorities.”

After Virginia’s 2011 legislative elections, anti-choice politicians introduced a “personhood” bill as their top priority. Romney already had endorsed a constitutional ban on abortion, but “personhood” measures, like the one Mississippi voters rejected by a wide margin last November, ban not only abortion but also many forms of contraception. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed 58 percent of Virginians oppose “personhood” proposals.

The introduction of the “personhood” measure coincided with Gov. McDonnell’s approval of a set of new regulations that single out first-trimester abortion providers from among all other doctors for burdensome, medically unnecessary requirements. These new targeted regulations of abortion providers (or TRAP) make Virginia the most restrictive state in the country on women’s health centers providing abortion care. This new law was one of 69 state-level anti-choice measures enacted in 2011—more than double the number enacted in 2010.

Keenan said Romney’s association with such an extreme agenda adds to the credibility gap he faces with voters. During his campaign for governor of Massachusetts, Romney pledged to uphold pro-choice laws.  However, once he assumed office, he took anti-choice actions, including vetoing a bill giving rape survivors information about and timely access to emergency contraception. In addition, Romney has called for defunding the nation’s federal family-planning program that provides millions of Americans with access to contraception and cancer screenings.

For more information on Romney’s record on choice, please visit our website.

In addition, NARAL Pro-Choice America recently released findings from a survey in key battleground states that shows that a key block of women voters is resistant to a candidate with extreme anti-choice views: http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/elections/elections-press-releases/2012/pr11092011_battleground-poll.html.

Contact:
Samantha Gordon, 202.973.3032


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