September 6, 2013 — Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's (R) recent efforts to cast himself as a moderate in the state's gubernatorial election run counter to "his past positions on abortion and birth control," which include supporting a "personhood" measure when he was a state senator, a Washington Post editorial states.
According to the Post, Cuccinelli in 2007 was among five Republican cosponsors of a bill that would have granted "full rights to 'preborn human being[s] from the moment of fertilization.'" The editorial notes that the legislation would have banned abortion and "provided an opening to prohibit common methods of birth control." It ultimately failed because too many Republican and Democratic legislators viewed it as "a potentially radical intrusion into domestic, family and individual decision-making," the Post states.
However, Cuccinelli last week "insisted that government should not interfere with contraception and denied that he ever backed legislation that could do so," according to the Post. The editorial explains that the personhood proposal could have banned popular forms of birth control because the measure could have been interpreted to prohibit contraceptives that "work partly by preventing the implantation of eggs in the uterus wall after they have been fertilized."
The editorial also notes the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in a statement has cautioned that "[s]ome of the most effective and reliable forms of contraception ... would be banned" by such measures (Washington Post, 9/4).