The Wire

BRIDGE BRIEF: Cuccinelli's Anti-Woman Record

Cuccinelli Refused To Support The Violence Against Women Act

Cuccinelli Withheld Support From Bipartisan Letter From 47 Attorneys General Urging Reauthorization Of The Violence Against Women Act. According to the Washington Times, “Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II was one of just three state attorneys general who did not sign onto a letter urging Congress to reauthorize the federal Violence Against Women Act – a decision that is now placing Virginia’s top prosecutor squarely in the middle of another politically charged debate. The letter drew widespread bipartisan support from members of the National Association of Attorneys General when it was issued in January, and with debate over the act heating up in Congress, Mr. Cuccinelli has been urged to reconsider withholding his support.” [Washington Times, 4/1/13]

Cuccinelli Opposed Abortion Even in Cases of Rape and Incest

Cuccinelli Opposed Abortion In Cases Of Rape And Incest. According to the Washington Post, “Where Cuccinelli opposes abortion — without exception in the case of rape or incest — Belter supports abortion rights.” [Washington Post, 8/05/02]

Cuccinelli Touted Himself The “Most Aggressive Pro-Life Leader” In The Virginia Senate. According to the New York Times, “As a lawmaker from one of the state’s most liberal regions, Mr. Cuccinelli proudly described himself as ‘the most aggressive pro-life leader in the Virginia Senate.’ He favored legislation granting legal rights to fetuses at conception and voted against a bill stating that contraception is not abortion. He also sponsored bills requiring regulations so strict they would have put most abortion clinics out of business.” [New York Times, 3/25/10]

Cuccinelli Wrote LegislationTo Defund Planned Parenthood

While A State Senator, Cuccinelli Offered An Amendment To Defund Planned Parenthood. According to National Right To Life News, “In a surprising turn of events, on February 27 the Virginia state Senate joined the state House in agreeing to defund Planned Parenthood. The amendment was offered by Republican state Senator Ken Cuccinelli and will deny over $200,000 to Planned Parenthood.” [National Right To Life News, 3/1/08]

Cuccinelli Backed Building Codes That Forced Abortion Providers To Shut Down

NOVA Women’s Healthcare, The Largest Provider Of Abortion Services In Virginia, Was Forced To Shut Down Because Of New State Regulations That Require Hospital-Level Building Standards. According to the Washington Post, “A women’s health care clinic in Fairfax City that performed more abortions than any other location in Virginia has closed, and it’s unclear whether it will reopen elsewhere. The closure, and the clinic’s difficulty finding new space, highlight a growing issue in the abortion debate: changes in local and state regulations and standards for abortion clinics. NOVA Women’s Healthcare was in an office building on Eaton Place, just off Route 123 near Interstate 66, since 2006. Antiabortion protesters stood outside the building daily, the clinic was sued twice in the past three years by its landlord, and it likely faced a need to upgrade or move after Virginia changed its regulations to require abortion providers to have hospital-grade facilities.” [Washington Post, 7/14/13]

    • Cuccinelli Certified The Virginia Board Of Health’s Decision To Introduce The Regulations In April. According to the Fairfax Times, “In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly voted to regulate abortion clinics in such a way as to treat them as surgical centers, requiring strict requirements and rigid building codes similar to those required of hospitals. Before this measure, clinics were not held to this standard and instead were regulated as physician’s offices instead of hospitals. The Virginia Board of Health voted to uphold the measure in April. The board’s vote was then certified by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and given final approval three weeks ago by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R).” [Fairfax Times, 7/15/13]
    • Washington Post Editorial: Cucinnelli Bullied The Virginia Board Of Health Into Shutting Down The State’s Abortion Clinics. According to a staff editorial in the Washington Post, “In three years as Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II (R) has demeaned his office by using it as a blatantly partisan bully pulpit to attack Obamacare, illegal immigrants, homosexuals and climate-change scientists. Now he has managed to bully Virginia’s Board of Health into a stance — unprecedented in state history — that could force most of the commonwealth’s 20 or so abortion clinics to close. Mr. Cuccinelli, who was a champion of the anti-abortion movement as a legislator, has clung to his current office even as he runs for governor. In doing so, he ignores the example of former Virginia attorneys general of both parties who resigned to run rather than politicize the office. In the Cuccinelli worldview, rendering dispassionate legal advice takes a back seat to agenda-pushing.” [Washington Post, 9/20/12]
    • The Board Of Health Initially Voted To Grandfather In Existing Clinics, But Cuccinelli Told The Board They Would Be Personally Liable For Legal Costs If They Were Sued. According to Yahoo News, “The state health board initially voted to grandfather in existing clinics, but Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli rejected that decision and warned board members they could be personally liable for legal costs if they were sued. The state health commissioner resigned in protest.” [Yahoo News, 7/15/13]
    • Cuccinelli Threatened To Refuse To Represent Members Of The Board Of Health If They Didn’t Approve The New Regulations. According to a staff editorial in the Washington Post, “However, implementation of the new regulations is the purview of the health board, which had never elected to impose new regulations on existing venues. In June, the board voted 7 to 4 to exempt existing clinics. That prompted Mr. Cuccinelli to resort to strong-arm tactics, first by threatening he would not certify the new regulations, then by warning that his office, which acts as the lawyer for state agencies and boards, might refuse to represent members of the board of health who were sued if they failed to heed his advice.” [Washington Post, 9/20/12]

Cuccinelli Pushed Passage of Radical “Personhood” Bill Which Jeopardized Contraception Access And Risked Criminal Prosecutions For Miscarriages

Cuccinelli Pushed for Passage of 2012 Fetal Personhood Bill. According to the News Advance, “This personhood bill recognizes a scientific reality. Life begins at conception. Make sure you talk to your senators. Advocate for this issue.” [News Advance, 2/16/12]

    • Legislation That Defines A Fertilized Egg As A Human Being Would Ban All Abortions, Including Those Resulting From Rape And Incest, And Would Declare Common Forms Of Birth Control, Like The IUD, As Murder. According to New York Times, “A constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder. […]The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar some birth control methods, including IUDs and ‘morning-after pills,’ which prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.” [New York Times, 10/26/11]
  • Virginia Bill Would Open Families and Doctors to Lawsuits over Miscarriages. According to the Washington Post, “‘This bill requires every single code section in Virginia that uses the word ‘person’ to apply to a fetus,’ Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) said. ‘That opens families and doctors to a wide variety of criminal and civil lawsuits for health-care decisions not only in cases of unwanted pregnancies, but every pregnancy and even miscarriage.’” [Washington Post, 2/13/12]

Cuccinelli Voted Against Legislation To Clarify Birth Control Is Not Abortion

Cuccinelli Voted Against Senate Bill 1104, Which Established That “Contraception Is Not A Form Of Abortion.” According to the Virginian-Pilot, “A bill stating that contraception is not a form of abortion may be in trouble in the House of Delegates. The House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions declined to vote on SB1104. Instead, it sent the measure to the Courts of Justice Committee. The author of the legislation – Sen. Mary M. Whipple, D-Arlington – said it will be hard to win approval from the Courts panel. Whipple said she has been concerned by the avalanche of bills that have sought to restrict abortion. She said she was especially troubled by HB1741, which is pending in the Senate. It would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense any prescription they believe would cause an abortion. Birth control could fall under that category, Whipple said.” [Virginian-Pilot, 2/12/03; Senate Bill 1104, 2003]

Cuccinelli Voted To Send Senate Bill 456, Which Established That “Contraception Is Not Abortion,” Back To Committee. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, “The Senate rejected a ‘contraception is not abortion’ bill by voting 24-14-1 to send the measure back to committee to consider next session.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/17/04; Senate Bill 456, 2004]

Compared Fight Against Contraception To Civil Rights Movement – Told Religious Leaders To Go To Jail

Cuccinelli Told People To Go To Jail To Fight Contraceptive Coverage For Health Care Plans. According to Politico, “‘You know, Abraham Lincoln has many good quotes, but one of them is ‘the best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously.’ And here we’re going to have an example of what tyranny means when it’s played to its logical conclusion,’ Cuccinelli said. ‘Because forcing business owners and businesses to do this is not consistent with our history of preserving religious liberty, one of the most important protections we have in this country.’ Cuccinelli recounted an exchange with his own bishop in which he counseled the cleric to embrace civil disobedience: ‘My local bishop said, ‘Well, you know I told a group I’m ready to go to jail.’ And I said, ‘Bishop, don’t take this personally: You need to go to jail.’” [Politico, 1/10/13]

Cuccinelli Compared Contraception Mandate Opposition To MLK And Civil Rights. According to Talking Points Memo, “‘Whenever I talk about religious liberty, you know they turn it around. All they talk about -they don’t talk about denying religious liberty. They talk about contraception. And I’m not talking about contraception. Government doesn’t have a role in contraception,’ Cuccinelli told the radio show. ‘Government does have a role in protecting your civil rights especially today on MLK Day. The man who really came up with the American non-violent protest theory of civil disobedience. It’s pretty egregious that they can’t get any higher than contraception when we’re talking about protecting people’s religious liberty.’” [Talking Points Memo, 1/22/13]