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August 7, 2013

Undercover Audio from Virginia "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" Supported by Candidate for Governor Ken Cuccinelli Reveals Outrageous Lies, Manipulation

Cuccinelli has long record of supporting, funding anti-choice CPCs

On the heels of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation’s second year-long investigation and report exposing the outrageous lies told to women by “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) in the Commonwealth, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in partnership with NARAL Pro-Choice America, today highlighted new undercover audio of CPC representatives lying to and manipulating women. The audio – recorded at two Virginia “crisis pregnancy centers” – includes a CPC staffer telling a woman that the birth-control pill causes breast cancer and that condoms “don’t work.” (Download the full audio from the two visits here* and here.)

Centers like these receive funding from a variety of sources including “Choose Life” license plates available through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Ken Cuccinelli – whose anti-choice activism has helped shut down legitimate women’s health clinics across the state – has said he was the “proud sponsor” of the legislation behind the license plates when he served in the State Senate.

Additional highlights from the audio include the CPC representative saying:

  • Condoms are “naturally porous” and do not protect against STDs (5:15)
  •  Women who have taken the birth-control pill for four years prior to their first pregnancy have a 46% increased risk of breast cancer (7:00, 12:55)
  • Having an abortion will damage all of your future relationships (38:00)
  • “I try to talk women out of taking birth control” (4:30 – 5:00)
  • If you have an abortion, you will see that child’s soul again in the future: “At the end of the world you’re gonna know that was my child that I choose to kill” (48:00)

Download the full audio from the two visits here* and here.

“This shocking audio exposes Virginia CPCs for what they are: anti-choice field offices designed to mislead, shame, and lie to women during one of the most vulnerable times of their lives,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.  “Regardless of your stance on abortion, we can all agree that anyone seeking health care services and advice should receive comprehensive, non-judgmental, and factually accurate information. This audio is nothing short of shocking – yet these are the lies and underhanded manipulation that Virginia women are subject to everyday within the walls of the Commonwealth’s 58 CPCs. It is wrong, and it must stop. Women deserve our respect and the truth.”

The documented evidence of the real agenda behind CPCs raises questions for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, whose support of the centers in Virginia is well documented: Should the Commonwealth support the dissemination of blatantly false, emotionally manipulative and potentially dangerous information by bogus health facilities?

“Cuccinelli’s support of CPCs that lie to women is yet another example of him prioritizing his ideological agenda above his commitment to serve the women and men of Virginia,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “Does he support lying to women? Does he agree with the completely false claims about women’s health spread by many of these CPCs? Cuccinelli can’t duck these questions forever.”

Earlier in the campaign, NARAL Pro-Choice America released a poll focusing on women and women’s health issues in Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial election. The results highlight how critical the role of women’s health is for any candidate to win the governor’s mansion this year. Learn more about the poll.

* In the interview, the counselor revealed a personal story. Because of our respect for the privacy of all women, we have omitted this section of the interview, which lasted approximately 54 seconds, and occurs after the 18:56 mark in the recording.

Tarek Rizk, 202-973-3032;
Alena Yarmosky, 240-595-2072;

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