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July 5, 2012

Statement on Selection of Gov. Bob McDonnell to Lead Platform Committee

Washington, D.C. - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's recent selection to serve as chairman of the Republican Party's platform committee yet another sign of how attacking a woman's right to choose would be a centerpiece of Mitt Romney's campaign.

"Gov. McDonnell is notorious as the politician who signed the 'forced ultrasound' bill into law. It is quite a coincidence that the announcement of McDonnell's role as head of the platform committee came as the forced ultrasound law went into effect," Keenan said. "This latest high-profile assignment for Gov. McDonnell will further link presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney to the most extreme and far-reaching anti-choice attacks on women's freedom and privacy. We look forward to drawing the contrast between this intrusive Romney agenda and President Obama's strong support for a woman's right to choose."

Keenan said independent polling indicates Gov. McDonnell and the legislators who supported the forced ultrasound measure paid a price with voters. A Washington Post poll found that half of Virginians opposed the measure, and that 59 percent of voters in that state believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. In addition, a Quinnipiac University poll taken shortly after Gov. McDonnell signed the bill into law showed that 72 percent believe that it's not the government's place to make such laws. That same survey showed a drop in Gov. McDonnell's approval rating and major drop in public support for the legislature that passed the bill:

For the first time this session, the Virginia State Legislature received a net negative approval rating from voters: 38 percent approve of its job performance, while 47 percent disapprove. This represents a 19 percentage point net negative shift from the 47 percent to 37 percent approval it received as recently as Feb. 9.

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia has more on the McDonnell forced-ultrasound measure.


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