Democratic legislators criticized Republican U.S. Senate hopeful George Allen for featuring former Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Kay Coles James in his latest TV ad.

They faulted James for once describing social ills that were harming society as “cultural AIDS,’’ opposing family planning programs and supporting cuts to providers like Planned Parenthood.

Virginia Senate candidate George Allen ( Photo by Jeffrey MacMillan )

“As they say, you are the company you keep, and George Allen’s selection of Kay Coles James to vouch for his candidacy speaks volumes to Virginia women about his disregard for their right to make their own health care choices,” said Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), chairwoman of the Virginia Reproductive Rights Caucus.

Allen, who faces fellow former governor Timothy M. Kaine (D) in the race to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D), launched a series of “Virginia Voices” ads last month.

“By making personal attacks on a dedicated mother, grandmother, wife and an accomplished career woman, it appears Tim Kaine and his Democratic allies are the ones launching the ‘war on women,’” Allen spokeswoman Katie Wright said.