Virginia Democrats are seeking to keep “women’s issues” front and center in the presidential and U.S. Senate races with a new video and a series of events this weekend.
The events, one of them featuring Senate candidate and former governor Timothy M. Kaine in Richmond, are meant to fire up Democrats on “women’s economic and health care rights,” according to an announcement.
Kaine faces Republican former governor George Allen in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D).
The Democratic Party of Virginia on Friday also announced the release of a YouTube video featuring series of women. They criticize Allen for his support of “personhood” legislation, which would define life as beginning at conception, and for his opposition to the Family and Medical Leave Act and equal-pay legislation.
“George Allen supports federal personhood legislation which could ban virtually all abortions, with no exceptions, and some forms of contraception,” one woman says.
“I just don’t understand how George Allen could be against men and women wanting to care for their families,” another adds.
Democrats played up similar themes Thursday by featuring Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, in a conference call with reporters.
“George Allen . . . wants to defund health-care providers like Planned Parenthood, and he wants to allow employers to decide whether or not women can get insurance coverage for things as basic as birth control and cancer screenings,” Richards said.
Allen and his campaign have said that women are more focused on the economy and jobs than the matters Democrats have been highlighting. In his debate against Kaine Monday, Allen did sport a pink breast cancer awareness bow on his lapel — a nod, his campaign later said, to his mother, a breast cancer survivor.
“It’s clear Democrats’ Washington playbook calls for using women’s issues as political tools to run from their inability to hold a conversation on jobs and the economy,” Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis said via e-mail. “When nearly 300,000 women have lost their jobs and 5 million women are unemployed, women deserve better than Democrats’ smear campaign against George Allen’s record of creating jobs and increasing women’s health access and breast cancer awareness.”
More information about the Democrats’ Saturday events, which take place in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Alexandria, Charlottesville and Roanoke, is available here.