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NARAL Celebrates Success of Its 'StopKen' Campaign

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Women also won mayoral races in cities around the country--including New Haven, Houston and Albany--and Letitia James became public advocate in New York City. In New Jersey, Barbara Buono said her party had betrayed her.




Ken Cuccinelli
Ken Cuccinelli lost the governor's race in Virginia.

Credit: Eric Brown/PoliticalActivityLaw.com on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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(WOMENSENEWS)--A leading abortion-rights lobby is celebrating Democrat Terry McAuliffe's Nov. 5 victory in Virginia over Ken Cuccinelli, which blocks an anti-choice firebrand from gaining the governor's mansion in a state where critics say the "war on women is raging."

NARAL Pro-Choice America NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia congratulated "pro-choice candidate Terry McAuliffe" in a on Nov. 5. A day earlier NARAL Pro-Choice America offered a run-down of its . As part of its "StopKen" campaign, the group's on the candidate began with his opposition to abortion even in the case of rape and ended with his sponsorship of "choose life" license plates.

reported Oct. 22 that Cuccinelli had given thousands of dollars to so-called pregnancy crisis centers, which provide anti-abortion counseling. "At one of the centers Cuccinelli supported, staff told women that abortion increases their chance of breast cancer," Mother Jones' reporter Molly Redden wrote.

Redden also reported that NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, in 2010, sent a team to visit a pregnancy crisis center. The women were made to watch a graphic video of an abortion and were told that should they have children in the future, they would always regret the child they could have raised had he or she not been aborted.

After retweeting the above, NARAL launched an ad two days later on Oct. 24 with a 30-second uploaded to YouTube called, "May We Come In?" In it, a life-size cardboard cutout of Cuccinelli is carried by an unidentifiable man – his face is unseen-- who knocks on a house door. A woman opens the door to find the cutout and hears a male voice: "Did you know that Ken Cuccinelli doesn't support a woman's right to choose even in cases of rape and incest? May we come in ma'am?"

Once inside the woman's home, the man asks if the cutout of Cuccinelli can enter her daughter's bedroom. The male voice then asks if she knew that Cuccinelli banned contraception. The woman shakes her head no. The video ends with a warning to "keep Ken Cuccinelli out of your bedroom, medicine cabinet and the governor's mansion."

Other pro-choice groups also applauded McAuliffe's victory.

The Women's Strike Force is a nonpartisan group that formed in 2012 to protest lawmakers who voted in favor of a bill that would have made women seeking an abortion to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, a process the group said met the state's definition of rape.

Barbara Buono Betrayed in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the reelection of GOP Gov. Chris Christie left his opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, capturing only of the votes. In her concession speech, Buono, who ran with little funding support from Democrats, her own party leadership for working with Christie out of personal self-interest.

Christie gained of the female vote as compared to the 42 percent acquired by Buono. Early in his term, Christie cut $7.5 million to women's health care centers such as Planned Parenthood, saying that federally qualified health care centers can fill the need, Jenna Portnoy of Newark's Star-Ledger .

Mayors

Women, in cities with populations over 300,000, won a few key victories Nov. 5. Here's a sampling:

Toni Harp, a Democratic state senator, was elected mayor of New Haven, Conn., becoming the first African American woman to hold the office.

Kathy Sheehan, who ran with the endorsement of Emily's List, claimed a whopping of the votes and was elected mayor of Albany, N.Y.

Nan Whaley, Democratic city commissioner of Dayton, Ohio, was elected mayor of Dayton. She had a majority over her opponent A.J. Wagner, a former county auditor.

In Houston, Annise Parker was reelected to her third and final term on Nov. 5. The second woman to hold the seat, she made history as the first openly homosexual mayor of an American city. In an Oct. 17 article, Parker said she was intent on working to end human trafficking across the Texas border with Mexico. She touted her two-year "" initiative, which aids small businesses owned by minorities and women,  in an Oct. 25 .

In New York City's election, Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James made by winning the office of public advocate and becoming the first African American woman elected to a citywide office.

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