Virginia’s 2017 Governor’s Race: A Test of “Swing-State Politics”?

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

Pro-life Ed Gillespie (left) and pro-abortion Ralph Northam

Pro-life Ed Gillespie (left) and pro-abortion Ralph Northam

In November, voters will choose between pro-life candidate Ed Gillespie and pro-abortion candidate Ralph Northam to be the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

National Right to Life has endorsed Republican Ed Gillespie, a 100% pro-life candidate who will sign pro-life laws and support live-saving policies in Virginia.

Planned Parenthood’s Virginia affiliate has endorsed Gillespie’s Democratic opponent, Ralph Northam. They have pledged to spend $3 million in the race supporting Northam, whose record in the state Assembly was solidly pro-abortion. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Fenit Nirappil of The Washington Post refers to the Virginia Governor’s race as a “test of swing-state politics in the era of President Trump” in anticipation of the 2018 congressional elections.

In July, Cook Political Report ranked the Virginia Governor’s race “lean Democrat,” which means the seat is considered competitive, but the Democrat has an advantage. Northam has a slight lead in recent polling.

A study in contrasts

The contrast between the gubernatorial candidates on abortion couldn’t be more stark.

“Ed Gillespie is a strong advocate for life. As governor, he would support and sign pro-life legislation, including legislation to protect an unborn child from abortion at the point he or she can feel pain, and he opposes using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion,” said David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., executive director of the National Right to Life Committee. “National Right to Life looks forward to working with him in Virginia to implement pro-life policies to protect unborn children from abortion, and medically dependent or disabled persons, whose lives are threatened by euthanasia and assisted suicide .”

Gillespie has a long history of pro-life advocacy within the Republican Party. As chairman of the Republican National Committee, Gillespie strongly supported the pro-life plank in the Republican platform. When he was Counselor to President George W. Bush, Ed championed pro-life Congressman Henry Hyde to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This year, Gillespie accompanied Mike Pence for the Vice President’s historic speech to the March for Life.

Northam’s position is so extreme he supports abortion on demand – that’s abortion for any reason anytime during the pregnancy – and he favors using your tax dollars to pay for abortion.

In 2017, the Virginia Assembly took the first step in redirecting monies from abortion providers to actual health care providers that will offer comprehensive health care for more women and girls, closer to home. Sadly, pro-abortion Governor Terry McAullife (D) vetoed the pro-life legislation. Planned Parenthood is counting on Northam to win so he can veto this and any other pro-life legislation that reaches the governor’s desk.

Virginia voters will decide whether they will protect the weakest among us – our unborn children – this November. They will decide whether to support pro-abortion Ralph Northam who will oppose any protective pro-life legislation, or pro-life Ed Gillespie.

So far in 2017, pro-abortion Democrats are 0 for 5 in competitive pro-life vs. pro-abortion races. (See here)

In each of those races, the pro-life candidate endorsed by National Right to Life prevailed over the pro-abortion candidate. In an effort to reverse that trend, pro-abortion forces are prepared to pull out all the stops in Virginia.

For example, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia has pledged to knock on 300,000 doors and mail 400,000 flyers to Virginia voters in support of Northam. They also plan to run radio ads.

The $3 million Planned Parenthood plans to spend could be seen as an investment into protecting their ability to receive state government money in the long run – if they are successful.

The babies don’t have lots of money but they do have you – the pro-life movement.

It’s up to Virginia voters to prove the pro-life movement is alive and well, and demonstrate that they will protect the least among us – our unborn children – by supporting Ed Gillespie for governor.

And it’s up to all of us to see that they succeed – helping the “swing state” swing toward protection of all its vulnerable citizens: the unborn, the elderly, and those who are medically vulnerable.

Look for election updates in future editions of nationalrighttolifenews.org.