Rich Anderson has been our Delegate since 2010. In that time, he’s voted on hundreds of bills, so it is safe to say that Rich Anderson has some opinions on women. Let me sum them up for you: Rich Anderson doesn’t want you to get an abortion BUT he doesn’t want you to have birth control (you know, the thing that prevents abortions) either.
Check out Rich Anderson’s top three votes against women’s health—just from the most recent General Assembly session:
via GIPHY [Rich Anderson, basically]
Vote #1: Rich Anderson voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
First up is Rich Anderson’s horrifying vote to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. Yes, Rich Anderson actually voted to take away funding for low-income or under-insured women to get cancer screenings, treatment for STIs, birth control, and routine healthcare from qualified and compassionate doctors. While, yes, Planned Parenthood also provides abortions, a grand total of $0 of government funds go towards paying for abortion.
Defunding Planned Parenthood really means preventing people who use Medicaid and other government sources of health insurance from getting any services at all from Planned Parenthood. But Rich Anderson is so determined to prevent women from making choices about their own bodies that he would rather vote to have vital healthcare providers shut their doors than to have women get their healthcare at a facility that also provides abortions. Ugh.
So his stance on abortion is terrible. But what about other reproductive rights issues? If Anderson wants there to be fewer abortions, he must support policies proven to reduce abortions—like strong sex education programs and easy access to birth control for everyone—right? Wrong.
Vote #2: Rich Anderson doesn’t want you to have an abortion OR birth control.
Delegate Anderson actually voted against funding for long-term, reversible contraception like IUDs for low-income women. That means women who are responsible with their reproductive health and have decided they don’t want children at the moment could end up paying $900 for birth control.
So, according to Rich Anderson, not only shouldn’t women have abortions, but they should also have to pay an absurd amount of money for reliable birth control. Obviously, his opinions about women’s bodies don’t make a lot of sense.
via GIPHY [Virginia Women to Rich Anderson]
Vote #3: Rich Anderson voted to shame and stigmatize women for making decisions about their health.
Delegate Anderson took his problematic opinions on women’s bodies to the next level when he voted for the “Day of Tears” resolution. This resolution encouraged people to fly the flag at half mast on January 22 every year, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, to mourn all of the abortions women have had. This was clearly a resolution that was designed to shame and stigmatize women who have abortions.
Anderson’s votes make it clear that he considers it his job to legislate women’s bodies. He’s not a doctor or someone who has a uterus, but he apparently feels qualified to make decisions for those that do. If he can’t prevent abortions from happening altogether (thanks, Constitution!) he will make sure that a woman is shamed and humiliated for making the decision that was right for her. Gross.
Anderson’s votes make it clear that he considers it his job to legislate women’s bodies.
On November 7, Vote For Someone Who Will Stand Up for Reproductive Rights.
These three votes were all from just the most recent General Assembly session. If you go back further, you’ll find a lot more of Anderson’s votes to regulate women’s bodies. His votes on this issue, and many others, prove that Rich Anderson is out of touch with our community and isn’t voting for our values when he goes to Richmond. That’s not OK.
Luckily, on November 7, we have the chance to vote for someone who will stand up for women and protect their access to vital healthcare services, including birth control and abortion. You still have time to research the candidates and join me at the polls to support women in our community! I’ll see you there on November 7.