FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2013
NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Challenge Virginia Gubernatorial Candidates to Endorse "Statement of Support for Sexual-Assault Survivors"
Yesterday, NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia delivered a “Statement of Support for Sexual-Assault Survivors” and challenged Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe, Ken Cuccinelli and Robert Sarvis to endorse it.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue had this to say:
“Our country is experiencing a dual threat to women: prevalent sexual assault combined with a roll back of reproductive rights means sexual-assault survivors could see their personal choices limited when dealing with the aftermath of rapes. This is shameful, and given that, we believe all three candidates for governor in Virginia should be on the record supporting comprehensive support – including all rights accorded under law to the medical care of their choice – for survivors of sexual assault in the Commonwealth without delay.
“Survivors of sexual assault face tremendous mental and physical obstacles, and their right to unbiased medical attention and counsel should be guaranteed in every circumstance. The voters of the Commonwealth should hear loud and clear from these candidates that they support this right and that, if elected, they will ensure that these women will have access to the resources they need.
“Virginia voters know that medical care for survivors of sexual assault should be above politics and they want every candidate, regardless of party affiliation, to acknowledge that fact and sign the pledge of support without hesitation. Virginians want a leader for the Commonwealth who knows when to stand up for them and this is one such moment. Candidates can expect themselves to be judged at the ballot box if they ignore this opportunity to show their resolve.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Executive Director, Tarina Keene added:
”As pro-choice advocates we believe that every woman has the absolute right to control her own destiny. Sexual-assault survivors have had their basic freedoms violated in the worst and most fundamental of ways – and they should be guaranteed the resources and support services they need to heal, including the option of safe, legal abortion care. This is a commonsense, compassionate platform in line with the views of a vast majority of Virginians, and we expect all candidates for Governor to put partisan politics aside and sign this statement of support.”
Complying with this statement of support means the candidates must ensure that every resident has access to necessary support services – including legal abortion services for women who become pregnant as a result of their attacker’s crimes. While the McAuliffe and Cuccinelli campaigns are still reviewing the statement, the Sarvis campaign has agreed to support it.