When you elected me governor almost four years ago, I promised I’d make the Governor’s Mansion a brick wall between Virginians and policy that would hurt our commonwealth — and I’ve kept that promise.
Planned Parenthood health centers provide thousands of Virginians access to quality, affordable health care. That includes cancer screenings, STI testing, and more. Because of Planned Parenthood, Virginia men and women — and babies — are healthier.
Now, that’s a good thing in and of itself, but those benefits extend past health care. Being a commonwealth where we embrace Planned Parenthood makes us a more attractive place to do business. It strengthens our workforce by giving women the autonomy to decide when and if to start a family.
Through it all, I’ve been able to stand strong because I have a champion for women’s health at my right-hand in my friend Ralph Northam. Ralph’s made protecting and expanding access to quality, affordable health care a top priority throughout his career as a doctor and in the senate and our administration. No one says it better than Ralph,
“There’s no excuse for a group of legislators — most of whom are men — to be telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.”
Compare that with his opponent, Ed Gillespie:
- Ralph has been a champion for Planned Parenthood — Ed would defund it.
- Ralph believes in women’s right to safe, legal abortion — Ed said he would like to see abortion “be banned”.
- Ralph stood on the floor of the General Assembly and led the fight against an invasive transvaginal ultrasound bill — Ed was chairman of the national Republican Party when it’s platform included a pledge to overturn Roe v. Wade.
If we are going to continue to build a new, more vibrant Virginia economy, we need to open doors to quality, affordable health care, not close them. Attempts to restrict women’s access to health care will impede our goal of ensuring Virginia is the best place to live, work, and run a business.
One of the things that makes Virginia such an incredible place is our belief in putting the common good ahead of short-term politics. That’s the Virginia way — it’s a tradition that we should be proud of. But when Republicans play politics with women’s health, they’re disrespecting that tradition.
In 2017, we need to elect another governor who will be a champion for women’s health — not one who would risk the health of half our commonwealth and our economy to win political points. If we elect Ed Gillespie, he’ll dismantle our wall brick-by-brick, giving each piece to another special interest before nothing is left between Virginians and the extreme politics of the far-right.
If we elect Ralph Northam, we’ll be electing a champion for Virginia families — and that brick wall will grow taller and wider than ever before.