Virginia Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli filed a summary of his tax returns, revealing that he has donated thousands of dollars to crisis pregnancy centers, antiabortion counseling centers that use deceptive marketing and medically inaccurate information to mislead women seeking comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including birth control and abortion.
As Molly Redden at Mother Jones reports, from 2008 to 2012, Cuccinelli gave two crisis pregnancy centers and one affiliated group a total of $4,038.
Both of the centers Cuccinelli supported have a documented history of using medically inaccurate information to mislead women. At one center, AAA Women for Choice, staff told women that abortion increases their chance of getting breast cancer, a claim that has been refuted by the American Cancer Society and other medical associations. Women for Choice staff also told women that abortion causes infertility, though the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has found that fewer than 1 percent of abortions end in complications like infertility.
And as Redden notes, AAA Women for Choice does not advertise its antiabortion views on its website, leaving women to find out that the center does not offer abortion services only after they’ve scheduled an appointment:
The AAA Women for Choice website, however, does not reflect its anti-choice practices. A section of the website labeled “consider your choices” lists abortion as one of three options for pregnant women and describes several types of abortions. But the group’s facility does not offer abortions and has lobbied to make them harder to obtain. AAA Women for Choice staff have spoken in favor laws that impose new, hard-to-meet regulatory burdens on abortion clinics with an eye towards forcing them to shut down.
Cuccinelli’s support for these antiabortion centers comes as little surprise. As Salon has previously reported, Cuccinelli was instrumental in passing legislation to funnel state money to these antiabortion centers through the sale of “Choose Life” license plates through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. He has also made no secret of his antiabortion, anti-contraception views as attorney general or during his run for governor.