THE BLOG
09/16/2013 08:24 am ET Updated Nov 16, 2013

No Surprise Here: Leading Anti-Women's Health Politician Marco Rubio Campaigns With Cuccinelli in Virginia

Lately, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has been trying desperately to appear more moderate on issues important to Virginia women and our health -- most recently when he told voters that he has a "flat position" on birth control and that he won't touch contraception if elected governor in November. This would be a celebratory campaign promise, if it wasn't so misleading and contradictory to his record.

The truth is, while serving in the state senate, Ken Cuccinelli co-sponsored a so-called "personhood" bill. If enacted, Cuccinelli's legislation could have interfered with a woman's personal medical decisions about birth control, access to fertility treatment, management of miscarriage, and access to safe and legal abortion. Cuccinelli was also the first attorney general in the country to file a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act and argued that opponents of the law should be willing to "go to jail" to fight the benefit that requires insurance companies to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they would other preventive care.

Cuccinelli's extreme record and agenda become clearer when we look at the company he keeps. He already has the endorsement of Rick Santorum, who once warned of the "dangers of contraception," and a leading anti-women's health organization announced they are spending over a million dollars to help him get elected. Instead of endorsing preventive measures that could reduce the need for abortions, the group's president has illogically argued that "contraception and family planning" are responsible for increasing the number of abortions. And now, we have learned that Florida Senator Marco Rubio will fundraise for Cuccinelli in Richmond today.

Rubio and Cuccinelli share the same extreme ideological agenda, so it's really no surprise that Rubio would lend his support to Cuccinelli's campaign. After all, Rubio is the same politician who co-sponsored the much-talked-about Blunt amendment which would have allowed bosses to refuse to cover birth control in their health care plans. In July, Rubio published an op-ed in which he called the Affordable Care Act -- a law that has already benefitted 765,000 Virginia women who are receiving preventive care like birth control and cancer screenings with no additional co-pay -- "disastrous."

That's an A-list of supporters if you're a candidate hoping to outlaw safe and legal abortion and make birth control, the very thing that can prevent unintended pregnancy, less affordable and less accessible.

Cuccinelli's record has shown, time and again, that when faced with the opportunity of trying to limit women's access to health care and make their personal decisions for them, he'll seize that chance. So we aren't fooled by Cuccinelli's attempts to appear moderate, and Virginia voters shouldn't be either. We know where he really stands -- just look at his record and the company he keeps.

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