"Extreme" and "unnecessary" is how Tim Kaine, Virginia's Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, described Republican-led measures on abortion in the General Assembly.
"This is government overreach at its worst," Kaine said today in a conference call from Culpeper. “What we’re seeing in Richmond now is not what Virginians expect from their leaders. What’s happening in Richmond right now is bad for Virginia women, it’s bad for Virginia’s image and it’s bad for Virginia’s businesses."
On Monday in Richmond, more than 1,000 people protested bills that would:
- Obligate women who want an abortion to first receive an ultrasound. (Since a majority of U.S. abortions are made 12-13 weeks into the pregnancy, the patient would have to undergo an invasive trans-vaginal procedure.)
- House Bill 1, the "Personhood" bill, which gives "unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth."
Kaine ridiculed his opponent, Republican George Allen, for backing a personhood bill. "This is an issue I never would have thought we'd be talking about in a race," he said. "I am talking about jobs. I am not the one who has proposed federal personhood legislation."
Kaine said that Virginia is becoming a laughingstock, as both bills were recently the butt of jokes on "The Daily Show" with John Stewart and SNL's Weekend Update.
"This is what they believe, those who are promoting these bills. They believe this is what the government should be doing," he said. "They're hugely out of step with the Virginia public."
It now seems Republican Governor Bob McDonnell's support of the ultrasound bill is wavering, according to the Washington Post.
"I think Virginians need to keep this up," said Kaine, who sent an email this morning asking Virginians to contact their elected representatives in Richmond. "They need to keep up the advocacy, because I think the Virginia General Assembly is starting to listen."
The Allen camp emailed this response:
“Ironic that Tim Kaine professes to want to talk about jobs while he is on a conference call – that his own campaign organized – discussing issues moving through the General Assembly. He and his allies seem intent on making this race about anything other than solutions to create jobs, addressing our country's energy issues including surging gas prices and reining in the wasteful excesses of Washington that have made trillion dollar deficits the norm.
"They may want to change the subject but the families of Virginia don't — many of them fear that the American Dream is being diminished and wonder if their children and grandchildren will have the same opportunities they had growing up. Those families know George Allen will continue talking about constructive ideas and solutions that meet those challenges, it's disappointing that Mr. Kaine is failing to do the same."