From the Democratic Party of Virginia

Young woman discussing birth control pills with gynecologist

In his run for Attorney General, Mark Obenshain has been obscuring his record on women’s health. Below are some of the extreme right-wing measures he has championed in the Virginia General Assembly:

Mark Obenshain voted in 2004, along with Ken Cuccinelli, to defeat “a ‘contraception is not abortion’ bill. Mark Obenshain and Ken Cuccinelli, on February 16, 2004, were two of 24 state senators who voted to reject Senate Bill 456, which was “a ‘contraception is not abortion’ bill.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 02/17/04, and SB 456, 2004]

Co-Patroning the “Personhood” Bill. Obenshain has repeatedly supported “personhood” legislation that would outlaw all abortion and many common forms of birth control. [HB 2797, 2007; SB 1207, 2011]

Mark Obenshain, in 2012, voted for a “personhood” bill that would criminalize contraception. The bill would “effectively outlaw all” abortions in Virginia “by declaring that the rights of persons apply from the moment sperm and egg unite.” Many “abortion-rights advocates call it nothing less than an attempt to outlaw all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.” [HB 1, 2012]

Introducing A Bill That Would Require Women To Report Miscarriages To Police. “Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, made himself a lightning rod for criticism by introducing a bill that would require a woman to report her miscarriage to police within 24 hours.” [SB 962, 2009; Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 1/28/09]

“College students and women across Virginia should take note of what happened here in 2003 and imagine what our Commonwealth might look like if Mark Obenshain becomes Attorney General”

Voting in favor of the transvaginal ultrasound bill and calling it “common sense legislation.” In 2012 Mark Obenshain voted in favor of the transvaginal ultrasound bill and the amended version of the bill. Obenshain referred to the bill as “common sense legislation” and then referred to the amended version of the bill, which changed the law form requiring a transvaginal ultrasound to a transabdominal ultrasound, the “PG version” of the bill. [HB 462, 2012; SB 484, 2012; World Virginia, 2/08/12; Obenshain Tweet, 2/27/12]

Sponsoring a Bill To Outlaw Abortions After Twenty Weeks, Also Known As The Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Or Fetal Pain Act. In February 2012, the Daily Press reported: “Sen. Harry Blevins, R-Chesapeake, abstained Thursday, thereby killing a measure before the Senate Education and Health Committee that would have outlawed elective abortions in Virginia after 20 weeks. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, would have made elective abortions after 20 weeks because he said there is medical evidence that a fetus can feel pain at that point in its gestation. The measure would not have allowed abortions after that point if the mother’s life or health is threatened.” [Daily Press, 2/2/12; SB 637, 2012]