RICHMOND, Va. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The nation's largest abortion provider is announcing it will pour millions of dollars into the Virginia governor's race — a contest it views as crucial to abortion "rights."
Last week, Planned Parenthood (PP) endorsed Democrat Ralph Northam for governor, branding him a "champion" for his unwavering support for abortion and committing $3 million to his campaign for digital marketing, radio ads and face-to-face outreach to hundreds of thousands of Virginia homes.
The announcement comes less than two months after PP spent almost three-quarters of a million dollars to boost Democrat Jon Ossoff's losing bid for Georgia's 6th Congressional District, even as the abortion behemoth siphons more than half a billion taxpayer dollars from the federal treasury.
Abortion activists view Virginia's gubernatorial race as crucial to their cause. The contest pits Northam, a stridently pro-abortion Democrat, against pro-life, Republican challenger Ed Gillespie.
A spokesman for Gillespie's campaign has denounced Northam's position on abortion as "extreme," pointing out that the Virginia Democrat supports the procedure even in "the eighth or ninth month" of pregnancy. During his years as a state senator, Northam assembled a 100 percent pro-abortion voting record, leading to his endorsement by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.
The most recent poll shows Northam with a slight lead over Gillespie.
As Virginia has grown more liberal, the state has become an abortion battleground. Virginia has shifted to the left in recent years, aligning itself with the blue states of the Northeast in every presidential election since 2008. Pro-abortion Democrats hold sway over the state's highest offices. Two of these, Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Terry McAuliffe, are also self-described Catholics.
As governor of Virginia from 2006–2010, Tim Kaine "approved funding for crisis pregnancy centers" and "upheld abortion restrictions such as a 24-hour waiting period and parental notification. But after a two-year stint as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he hardened his stance on abortion, setting himself up for selection as Hillary Clinton's 2016 running mate.
During his time as governor, Terry McAuliffe presided over the reversal of several pro-life measures, fulfilling one of his campaign's key promises — that he would erect a "brick wall" against abortion limitations.
In February, McAuliffe’s abortion record earned him the rebuke of the Virginia Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state's two bishops and their dioceses.
In a joint statement, Bps. Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond and Paul S. Loverde of Arlington condemned McAuliffe, declaring:
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the nation’s largest abortion provider — at the expense of comprehensive health care for women. ... The Virginia Catholic Conference upholds the timeless truth that every human being, born and unborn, has an equal right to life. The Conference finds Gov. McAuliffe's pride in protecting an organization that destroys life and harms women and their families deeply offensive. We will continue to fight for the day when Virginia law protects all human life, at every stage of development, from conception until natural death.
Planned Parenthood can't afford to lose the momentum it has gained under Virginia's pro-abortion, "Catholic" leadership. From 2009–2015, the number of abortions in the state fell by almost a third, even as the abortion giant's market share rose by half. A Ralph Northam governorship, PP maintains, is essential to maintaining its grasp on Virginia.