State (Current Legislation)
Democrats in New York are championing the most sweeping abortion legislation in the nation. Governor Andrew Cuomo added the strong abortion language to a Women's Equity bill aimed at addressing human trafficking, pay equity for women, and domestic violence.
The abortion language would allow late-term abortions, allow non-doctors to perform abortions, and supersede any reasonable restrictions such as parental notification, in a state that already has one of the highest abortion rates. It is out of touch with the views of most Americans, out of touch with the views of most Democrats, and could hamper real reform for women's rights.
Democratic Senator Jeff Klein, who supports the abortion expansion, is also leading a charge beyond the legislation. However, he also has taken a stance against pro-life Democrats arguing that any Democratic who does not support the bill is not a Democrat. It is clear that Senator Klein does not fully understand the importance of diversity within our party, the strength of a big tent policy, or the real needs of women. It is up to us to educate the Senator.
Late last night, Virginia joined a number of states who have adopted legislation to prohibit abortion coverage in state-based exchanges. Democratic Senator Phil Puckett provided the critical 20th vote which allowed the Lieutenant Governor to vote and break the 20-20 tie. Democratic Senator Chuck Colgan also supported the pro-life legislation.
Senator Puckett has a long and strong pro-life record. In addition to his crucial vote banning abortion in the state-based health exchanges, this legislative session Senator Puckett also provided a key vote to mandate that abortion clinics meet basic health and safety standards in Virginia. Pro-life advocates have pushed the Abortion Clinic Regulation bill for several legislative sessions. Senator Puckett's support for the legislation and against his Party leadership is a testament to his unwaivering support for life.
Senator Puckett supports the "Whole Life" principle that embraces life in the womb and beyond. He was the author and Patron of the Virginia Pregnant Women Support Act which paved the way for Virginia to receive a $1.7 million grant from the Federal Pregnancy Assistance Fund. Because of Senator Puckett's leadership, starting this fall, colleges and universities around Virginia will start programs to support pregnant students so they can stay in school and provide for their families rather than dropping out.