FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2013
NARAL Pro-Choice America Challenges Ken Cuccinelli’s Alleged Support for Sexual-Assault Survivors
During last night’s Virginia gubernatorial debate, Ken Cuccinelli cited repeatedly his support for sexual-assault survivors. Still, Cuccinelli has remained silent on NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s statement of support for sexual-assault survivors, signed by both Terry McAuliffe and Robert Sarvis. NARAL Pro-Choice America released the following statement from President Ilyse Hogue:
“Last night, Ken Cuccinelli used the Virginia governor’s debate to claim he’s a champion for survivors of sexual assault. Yet, he’s the only candidate in the race who has not signed the statement committing to provide/support comprehensive medical care for women who have survived rape. We’re pleased that Terry McAuliffe and Robert Sarvis are standing with women of Virginia to be able to get the full range of health-care options after rape or assault.
“Unfortunately, this is part and parcel of Cuccinelli’s extreme stance on women’s issues that has driven the 24-point gender gap in the race. Cuccinelli’s obsession with denying women their right to safe, legal abortion, outlawing common types of contraception, and forcing doctors to perform medically unnecessary procedures on pregnant women is out of step with the priorities that Virginians want to see from their next governor.”
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 attackers’ crimes. While the McAuliffe and Sarvis campaigns have signed the statement, Cuccinelli's campaign has still not replied.
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia has been on the ground canvassing for weeks talking to thousands of women voters across the Commonwealth. The organization’s executive director, Tarina Keene, had this to say:
“It is appalling that Ken Cuccinelli is touting his supposed support for sexual-assault survivors when he is the only candidate who would deny rape victims the comprehensive resources they need. It’s time that Cuccinelli came clean about his record, instead of touting false and frankly misogynistic claims of “protection” for the very women he has built his career attacking. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia has already contacted thousands of voters throughout the Commonwealth, and we’re looking forward to continuing to expose Cuccinelli’s true record on women’s health – try as he might to muddy the waters.”
The Washington Post's most recent poll shows Terry McAuliffe leading Ken Cuccinelli by 8 points, 47 to 39, fueled by McAuliffe's 24 point lead among women.