Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has made it a top priority to remove the commonwealth from the list of 25 states that have declined to expand the number of individuals eligible for Medicaid under Obamacare. On Monday, House Speaker William Howell (R-Stafford) said his majority caucus is not going to play along.
Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe has announced his selection of Dr. Bill Hazel as secretary of health and human resources, calling him an “invaluable asset.” Hazel was selected for that cabinet post in 2010 by Gov. Bob McDonnell, and has supported the outgoing governor in the implementation of several anti-choice policies.
Dr. Bill Hazel, secretary of health and human resources under Gov. Bob McDonnell, represents the insidious face of an apparatchik advancing, supporting, and rubber stamping a war on women that Terry McAuliffe promised to end.
Dr. Bill Hazel was involved in an effort to salvage McDonnell’s reputation after the governor became the focus of national attention for pushing a bill that, as originally written, would have subjected women to forced vaginal probes prior to receiving an abortion in the state.
With the greatest number of women ever in Congress, there is still mathematical reason to debate 2012 as a “Year of the Woman.” The elections have come and gone and men still hold 80 out of 100 (80 percent) seats in the Senate, and 355 of 433 (82 percent) filled seats in the House.
Reproductive health and rights were once again the subject of extensive debate in state capitols in 2012. Over the course of the year, 42 states and the District of Columbia enacted 122 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. One-third of these new provisions, 43 in 19 states, sought to restrict access to abortion services.
The GOP platform committee did not amend language from the 2004 and 2008 GOP platforms, which “assert the sanctity of human life,” and provide no exceptions to abortion in any case whatsoever. The committee add language opposing drugs such as mifepristone, but members agreed that this platform amendment did not apply to EC.
A state law requiring women to receive an ultrasound at least a day before having an abortion has already caused a Northern Virginia health clinic to reduce its non-abortion services in the month since it took effect, according to a clinic official.
With their new power in Richmond, anti-choice politicians thought 2012 was their premier opportunity to railroad these policies into law with little resistance. These lawmakers grossly underestimated the outrage their insidious attacks on women’s health would provoke in Virginia and across the nation. With this spring awakening will come retribution at the polls this fall and in fall 2013.
Governor Bob McDonnell is trying to play down the outrage over an intrusive law mandating unnecessary medical procedures by calling it a “kerfluffle,” suggesting he is trying to “empower women,” and spreading other misinformation about the bill. A resident of Virginia responds.