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March 30, 2009

Virginia Gov. and DNC Chair Kaine Signs Divisive Anti-Choice Bill

Washington, DC – The leaders of NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia expressed deep disappointment at Gov. Tim Kaine's decision to sign into law a bill that funnels state money to anti-choice organizations, the so-called "crisis pregnancy centers."

Kaine, who also serves as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has taken action that's inconsistent with the strong pro-choice platform adopted by party leaders last August. This is the first piece of legislation involving a woman's right to choose that Kaine considered since being elected chairman of the national party.

"It is unfortunate that, even after receiving thousands of messages from Virginians and pro-choice activists across the country, Gov. Kaine has opted to sign a bill that advances a divisive political ideology at the expense of women's health," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "This action reminds America's pro-choice majority that we must hold elected officials in both political parties accountable when they take actions that are inconsistent with mainstream pro-choice values."

Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, echoed the disappointment and urged Virginians to remember Gov. Kaine's action as they go to the polls this November.

"Even with a pro-choice president in the White House, the battle to protect reproductive rights and health rages on at the state level," Keene said. "Virginia will elect a new governor in 2009, and today's action only reiterates what we already knew—elections matter, and we must remain vigilant and ensure that pro-choice candidates are elected to the Virginia General Assembly and the executive branch come November."

Keenan and Keene also said Gov. Kaine's statement claiming that pro-choice organizations also could seek a license plate missed the point.

"The revenue from the 'Choose Life' plates would go to many CPCs that use deceptive, intimidating, and emotionally manipulative tactics to block women from learning the facts about, or choosing, legal abortion," the pro-choice leaders said. "No pro-choice license plate would make that right."

Learn more about "crisis pregnancy centers."

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