Action: TRAP Review Public Comment Period Now Open

Dear Virginia NOW members and friends,

Thanks to Gov. McAuliffe’s call for REVIEW OF TRAP regulations that threaten to close many of Virginia’s health clinics (especially reproductive health clinics and abortion providers), the PUBLIC IS NOW INVITED TO COMMENT on the topics of choice, reproductive justice, and abortion access.

Virginia NOW urgently requests that you engage this opportunity to GET ON THE RECORD FOR CHOICE.

To add your voice in support of truly comprehensive health care for women and our families, and to emphasize the importance of complete reproductive autonomy for women as unique individual human beings free to follow their their own moral compass:

CLICK HERE to go directly to the PUBLIC COMMENT FORUM.

If you need background, or a guide to the process, or want a few talking points for inspiration for your unique message, follow these links. You can download these documents for your reference, and you can share these links on your social media.

Our Lobbying Director, Vicki Yeroian, has created several easy to follow guides to help you engage in this process effectively. If you have further questions, you may contact Vicki at lobbyingdirector@vanow.orgYou may also contact our Legislative VP, Marj Signer, at legislativevp@vanow.org for more information.

Please share this post widely with your friends. It is absolutely vital that Virginia women be heard LOUD AND CLEAR at this point in the review.

With our appreciation and thanks,

The Virginia NOW Executive Board

The Pro-Choice Women’s Vote Wins It!

The November 5th race for governor was unexpectedly close – Virginia NOW-endorsed Terry McAuliffe beat Tea Party favorite Ken Cuccinelli by just 3 points. The pro-choice women’s vote was critical to McAuliffe’s victory. He won the votes of 67% of unmarried women while Cuccinelli received just 25% of those votes – that’s an astonishing 42-point gender gap. McAuliffe also beat Cuccinelli by 25 points among unmarried men. (Another interesting fact for politicians:  about one-third of voters were unmarried and single women comprised 18% of voters.)

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Virginia NOW is proud that our postcard campaign contributed to the McAuliffe victory. We wanted to help get women to the polls and we exceeded even our expectations. 25,000 postcards were mailed to Democratic women ages 25-40 across the state – women who, because of work and family obligations, may not have voted this year. We knew they HAD to vote in order for pro-women candidates to win.

Our message was simple: “Vote…Because Women’s Votes Will Decide the Future.” We urged them to vote for candidates “who trust women and will safeguard our rights” – McAuliffe, Ralph Northam for Lt. governor and Mark Herring for Attorney General. The response was phenomenal! Postcard parties were held across the state (see photos below). After hearing hundreds of negative ads, women appreciated our positive message. All three candidates won.

Overall, exit polls showed McAuliffe won women by 9 points, the same margin President Obama won by in the presidential election last year. Women overwhelmingly rejected Cuccinelli for his extreme positions battling abortion, threatening contraception, refusing to support funding against domestic violence, and trying to make divorce harder to get. He tried for most of the campaign to mislead voters by downplaying his extreme social agenda, but ultimately, he couldn’t hide from his long record of attacking women’s rights.

Cuccinelli beat McAuliffe among voters who said the economy was the most important issue and among those who named health care as the biggest priority. But, among those who said abortion was their most important voting issue — roughly one in five voters — McAuliffe crushed Cuccinelli by close to a two-to-one margin, according to The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza. Cillizza wrote November 6:

Half of Virginia voters said that Cuccinelli’s position on issues was “too conservative,” while fewer than four in 10 said he was “about right” on the issues. What those numbers tell us is that McAuliffe’s efforts — primarily through a blitz of campaign ads in northern Virginia — to paint Cuccinelli as a warrior for the social conservative movement worked. Even though “economy”  and “health care” voters sided with Cuccinelli, it wasn’t by anywhere close to a large enough margin to offset his losses among voters who prized social issues.

This election shows clearly that abortion access and birth control options are critical to women and cannot be dismissed or downplayed as “social issues”  that are negotiable. Politicians who ignore women’s interests will lose their vote.

Marjorie Signer, Co-Chair, Virginia NOW PAC

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Get Your License Plates Now!

Trust Women Respect ChoiceUpdate: Planned Parenthood has already turned in the pre-order applications for the ‘Trust Women, Respect Choice’ license plate and is no longer accepting new orders. The license plate will be available for purchase through the DMV in the spring of next year.

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Like a lot of you, I’ve been thinking about getting a pro-choice ‘Trust Women, Respect Choice’ license plate but never got around to it. The other day I saw a car parked outside my gym with a “Choose Life” plate – and I realized I really HAVE to act now.

Money from the “Choose Life” plates – that term is so hypocritical! – goes to deceptive crisis pregnancy centers. The ‘Trust Women, Respect Choice’ plates will support Planned Parenthood prevention services in Virginia - including gynecological exams, sexually transmitted infection testing, and follow-up care.

The legislative battle to get the ‘Trust Women, Respect Choice’ plates was long and hard. But it’s not enough to win the fight. Planned Parenthood clinics will not see any revenue from the plates until 1,000 plates are sold. So, again, I realized I HAVE to act now.

Please go to the Planned Parenthood site for all the information you need and please do this today so you don’t forget!

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