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Obenshain addresses ‘personhood,’ jobs and regulation in Loudoun

Times-Mirror Photo/Trevor Baratko State Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26), the Republican nominee for attorney general, visited residents of Ashby Ponds retirement community in Ashburn Wednesday, a day after attorney general Ken Cuccinelli made the same stop.
For the second time in as many days, a Republican seeking statewide office visited Ashby Ponds retirement community in Loudoun, and for the second time, the Virginia politician was forced to address controversial legislation relating to women's health.

On Wednesday it was state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26), the GOP's candidate for attorney general, who was asked by an older woman in the audience about so-called “personhood legislation” and his social views.

Inquired the woman: “Do you expect Virginians to believe your statements now about the personhood amendment and your stance on women's reproductive rights when you sponsored the personhood bill and then voted again for it in 2012, when you introduced a bill to require women to report miscarriages to the police, when you sponsored the fetal pain bill, when you called the transvaginal ultrasound bill 'common-sense' legislation – isn't there a huge credibility gap in what you're saying versus what you have focused your entire senate career on?”

Obenshain in 2007 was a sponsor of House Bill 2797. The bill, which died in the House of Delegates on a 43-53 vote, would've provided “that 'the right to enjoyment of life' guaranteed by [the Constitution of Virginia] is vested in each born and preborn human being from the moment of fertilization.” Many observers say the law would've restricted women's access to contraception.

Obenshain quickly replied to the woman, “Thank you, Mark,” apparently referring to his Democratic challenger, fellow state Sen. Mark Herring (D-33rd). Obenshain said he's running a campaign focused on the issues important to the people of the commonwealth – regulations, the economy and public safety. Occasionally, he said, reproductive rights issues will come up.

“I hear these kinds of charges in emails …” Obenshain said. “It's just grossly mischaracterizing ... my record, and it's frankly not focusing on what it is we're going to do for Virginia.”

On one facet of the woman's question, Obenshain said, “I'd sound like a pretty terrible person if I wanted to criminalize women who fail to report miscarriages. I don't, I never did and I never do.”

Obenshain said that specific proposal, which he eventually withdrew, stemmed from an instance in Virginia in which a young woman allegedly threw her dead baby in a Dumpster. The state senator said he was working to implement legislation that would protect newborns, but soon realized his legislation was too broad and struck it.

Off the topic of women's reproductive rights, Obenshain said combating elderly abuse and ensuring safe communities for children is his top priority. Both Obenshain and Herring have worked on legislation to curtail the financial and personal swindling of older Virginians.

“When you get down to it, the most important and basic responsibility of government is to make sure that we have safe communities, to make sure that you and I and our children and grandchildren are able to enjoy our communities safely,” Obenshain said.

The senator from Harrisonburg said a thorough review of state and federal regulations is needed to ensure the state's economy is vibrant. Obenshain supports drafting an economic analysis of all regulations.

“The number one job killer in America is over-regulation,” he said.

On the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – Obenshain conceded there has long been a health care access problem in America. But he said he doesn't believe the new health care law is the solution.

“The alternative to Obamacare can't be nothing,” Obenshain said. “We have an obligation to make that sure we have an alternative. That we are addressing the access issues that exist with respect to our health care system.”

Obenshain opened up the program speaking about his political roots in the commonwealth. His father, Dick Obenshain, won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1978, defeating John Warner. However, Dick Obenshain was killed in a place crash shortly after winning the nomination, and the GOP selected Warner to replace him on the ticket. Warner went on to hold the senate seat for 30 years.

Sen. Obenshain's sister, Kate, is a contributor for Fox News and former chair of the Republican Party of Virginia.

On Tuesday, gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli made noteworthy comments at Ashby Ponds, saying he doesn't believe government should legislate birth control. Cuccinelli is a strong pro-life advocate and supported House Bill 2797 and a 2012 personhood proposal.

Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


SkidRow - Did you know there is no heartbeat to stop for the majority of the first trimester when the vast majority of abortions happen and that the nervous systems is not all connected to the brain until the third trimester?

That is the science that the laws are based on and is supported by the vast majority of the medical community.

Now if we want to prevent abortions, which I do, we simply need to support laws that gets contraception to all people at no extra charge to them. Studies show if you give poor women, the major users of abortion, free IUDs which last up to 10 years they use them and do not become pregnant as teens. They finish school, they get jobs, and later get married and have kids at that point which reduces abortions, poverty, welfare,  and crime.

Anti abortion folks need to be pro contraception of they are foolish hypocrites. Which comes back to the major problem with personhood bills, they ban most forms of contraception.

This entire GOP ticket in VA is laughable.  Three white men who want to control women’s bodies and what goes on in people’s bedrooms.  What happened to the party of smaller government?  The only “small” here is your small mindedness. You will be trounced in November, Obenshain.  All 3 of you will.  Excuse me, I’m going to donate more money to Mark Herring now!

Thank God we having somebody willing to stand up to evil. Democrats always champion the sanctioned killing of a beating heart and proclaim that a Choice outweighs a Life.

OberShame, Kookinelli, and Crazy Earl are not getting votes from this republican woman.  The democrats running aren’t the greatest, but at least they aren’t stark raving nutbags like these three. Come on GOP, enough with the crazies!

Cuccinelli:  “Let’s pass an ethics law so I won’t do what I did.”

Jackson: “I believe that the Democrat Party has become an anti-God party”

Obenshain: “Don’t watch what I do.  Just listen to what I say.”

This is the GOP A-team?  Really?  What a sad day the once grand old party has come to here in Virginia.  Perhaps the sound drubbing they’ll receive in November will be sufficient to put some sanity back in the party.

Another old white male deciding what’s good for females. I can’t stand either party, however when the republicans march out these far right wingers and their social issues. I just can’t vote for them, guess they don’t get it. I will vote democrat even though I hate what Obama has done(or not done) as president. I want less govt and lower taxes. How hard is that????

Tired of hearing politicians bash Obamacare—-come up with an alternative already!!  All you’re doing is saying it’s a problem but you have NO solution of your own….haven’t you learned in business that you need to present solutions no just bellyache. 

Mr. Obenshain;
With all due respect, we don’t buy it.  Both my husband and I feel that you are too extreme for Virginia. 
We see your voting record and we hear you trying to say you are a moderate?  Virginians are smarter than you give them credit . Yes, your record shows us who you really are.  You ARE part of the same machine in Richmond that is more interested in regulating women’s bodies and chasing scientists than doing the work that we are paying you to do.  How you want to represent your record now doesn’t cut it with us.  Let’s see, you even thought up the miscarriage law and felt it was an appropriate law- that tells us your real agenda.
I would add that your statement “only occasionally women’s reproductive issues would come up” does not hold water.  Here is a reminder:

1. You sponsored the personhood bill
2. You voted a second time for the personhood bill in 2012
3. You introduced a bill to require women to report miscarriages to the police
4. Sponsored the fetal pain bill.
5. Publically stated the trans-vaginal ultra sound bill was ‘common sense legislation’.

Oh by the way, many women pay those taxes through blood, sweat and tears here in Virginia.

Thanks but no thanks, we will be voting for Mark HERRING.

“A person’s a person no matter how small.” - Dr. Seuss

Remember the overused rhetoric
That life begins at birth
Now they say if you’re not wanted
You have no inherent worth

When dignity becomes arbitrary
We’re under an evil hex
Willing to admit our nothingness
For the politics of sex

It’s “just grossly mischaracterizing” your record to claim that you never wanted “to criminalize women who fail to report miscarriages”.

You personally introduced a bill that would’ve criminalized women who didn’t report miscarriages, in hopes that it would become law. The fact that you apparently “eventually withdrew” it doesn’t forgive that particular sin.

The number ! job killer in America is corporate welfare.  Sending America’s jobs overseas so corporations can earn record profits is the #1 job killer.  Why are you protecting the corporations with tax loopholes?  The fact that Obenshain even introduced the legislation that mandated women report miscarriages should make it very clear what his intentions were/are.  Just because he withdrew the bill because if failed miserably in the House says nothing about his true stance on the matter.  The fact is Mr. Obenshain believes that women are not capable of making our own decisions about our own bodies.  He believes that we should be forced to have the children of our rapist and he believes that abortion should be outlawed.  I believe abortion should be a last resort, but it should always be safe if this is the alternative that is chosen by a woman. Before Roe V Wade, abortions were still performed, the difference is women died from them.  Mr. Obenshain does not believe that women are equal and that he, and others like him must introduce laws and legislation that will control women’s actions and decisions because he believes that we are not capable of making those decisions ourselves.  This is not about right or wrong, and has nothing to do with one’s personal religion or beliefs.  This is about women’s autonomy and our right to be treated equally under the constitution.

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