Cuccinelli Tries to Lie His Way around His Anti-Birth Control Personhood Agenda


Today at an event with Virginia seniors in Loudoun County, Ken Cuccinelli tried to turn away from his career-long efforts to inject his agenda into decisions that Virginia women make with their doctors.


As Loudoun Times-Mirror reporter Trevor Baratko tweeted, Cuccinelli said:

“I don't think government should be doing anything about birth control or birth control devices. Government legislation shouldn't address contraception – that kind of thing.”


That is brazenly dishonest rhetoric given that Cuccinelli has supported and even cosponsored two versions of “Personhood” legislation that could have outlawed women’s access to common forms of birth control like the pill.


At last month’s Virginia Bar Association Debate Cuccinelli tried to tell Virginians he never tried to outlaw birth control. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker promptly gave him 3 Pinocchios. It’s time for Cuccnelli to stop lying about his record and explain why he has spent his career trying to ban women from making their own health care decisions.



Cuccinelli Pushed for Passage of HB 1 Personhood Legislation, Said “The Fight For Life Is Going To Last For All Of Our Lives”


In 2012, National Journal Hotline quoted Cuccinelli at rally for HB 1 personhood legislation, saying “It’s hard to believe we actually have to come and advocate for something as basic as life, but we’ve had to do it for decades and we’re going to have to do it for the rest of our lives. The fight for life is going to last for all of our lives.’“ [National Journal Hotline, 2/16/12; CBS 6 WTVR, 2/15/12,Video]


Cuccinelli Cosponsored Personhood Bill in 2007 that Would Recognize Life from the “Moment of Fertilization”


In February 2007, Sen. Cuccinelli cosponsored legislation introduced by Del. Bob Marshall that would prove that “the right to enjoyment of life” guaranteed by Article 1, § 1 of the Constitution of Virginia applies to “preborn human beings from the moment of fertilization.”  The bill failed in the House. [HB 2797, 2/5/07]


Washington Post: Cuccinelli Received 3 Pinocchios For Claiming He Did Not Try To Make Contraception Illegal

In July 2013, during the VBA debate Cuccinelli was asked, “And on contraception, would you again seek to make several forms, common forms, of contraception illegal, as you did several years ago?”


Cuccinelli replied, “Well, I certainly didn’t do that several years ago. My focus in this race is on growing jobs for the middle class, and supporting them and not the well-connected. There are people, like me, who sincerely hold beliefs about protecting life, and I certainly bring those with me into the Governor’s race.” The Washington Post’s fact check gave Cuccinelli’s statement “Three Pinocchios.” [Washington Post, 7/23/13]


Washington Post: Bill Sponsor Robert Marshall Approved Version Stating Unborn “At Every Stage” Should Enjoy All Rights, Privileges, Immunities

 In July 2013, the Washington Post fact check stated, “The main sponsor of this bill was Robert G. Marshall, a member of the House of Delegates from Prince William County, and in 2012, the House of Delegates approved a version of it. This bill stated that ‘unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth.’” [Washington Post, 7/23/13] 


Washington Post: OB/GYNs Denounced Personhood Laws, Warning Laws Could “Deny Women Access” To Preventive Care

 According to Washington Post’s fact check, “At the time the House of Delegate took this action, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists denounced such ‘personhood’ laws, warning that they could ‘deny women access to the full spectrum of preventive health care including contraception.’ In talking points that accompanied the announcement, ACOG said that ‘some of the most effective and reliable forms of contraception — oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, and other forms of FDA-approved contraceptives — could be banned in states that adopt ‘personhood’ measures.’” [Washington Post, 7/23/13]


Washington Post: Cuccinelli’s 2007 Personhood Bill “Appears to Be Even More Conservative” than the 2012 Bill He Supported

According to Washington Post’s fact check, “Indeed, Del. Vivian E. Watts, a Fairfax Democrat, successfully amended the bill to say that ‘Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as affecting lawful contraception.’ (The measure has stalled in the Virginia Senate.) In any case, the 2007 proposal Cuccinelli co-sponsored appears to be even more conservative than the 2012 one, as it defines life as beginning at ‘fertilization.’ There are various ways to interpret the impact on birth control, but some methods might be affected because there are birth control methods that prevent a fertilized egg from implantation in the wall of the uterus.” [Washington Post, 7/23/13]


 Washington Post: Banning Contraception “Likely Would Have Been the Practical Effect of the Bill He Cosponsored”

In July 2013, the Washington Post fact check stated, “We were told we would receive a response from the Cuccinelli campaign, but never got one. Cuccinelli’s answer was too cute by half, perhaps an effort to soften some of his conservatism. While he might not have specifically sought to ban contraception, that likely would have been the practical effect of the bill he co-sponsored.” [Washington Post, 7/23/13]


Politifact: “Personhood laws could limit some forms of birth control” Politifact has previously written that “Personhood laws could limit some forms of birth control” and “Since it takes about eight or more days for a fertilized egg to implant in the wall of the uterus and there are birth control methods that prevent implantation, then such a law might well have made those methods illegal.” [Politifact, 11/2/12]


American Congress Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists: Personhood Laws Will “Deny Women Access To The Full Spectrum Of Preventive Health Care, Including Contraception”


In February 2012, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement that said: “The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is unequivocally opposed to the so-called ‘personhood’ laws or amendments being considered in several states. These measures erode women's basic rights to privacy and bodily integrity; deny women access to the full spectrum of preventive health care including contraception; and undermine the doctor-patient relationship.” [American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2/10/12]


American Congress Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists: Personhood Measures “Would Limit Or Eliminate Contraceptive Options”


According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, personhood measures “would limit or eliminate contraceptive options.” They elaborated: “Some of the most effective and reliable forms of contraception—oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, and other forms of FDA-approved contraceptives—could be banned in states that adopt ‘personhood’ measures.” [American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Personhood Measures: Impact on Contraception”]  

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, 10/25/11]