News sources on Friday are reporting the Virginia governors race is heating up as election day gets closer. Depending on the public's views on a number of issues, it looks like choosing who to vote for will be easy.
Abortion is still a huge issue in Virginia. What is interesting is that both candidates for governor are Catholic. But on abortion issues, the two major party candidates' views are as different as day and night.
Republican Ken Cuccinelli is against abortion in almost all circumstances, and that includes rape and incest. He does make an exception when the life of the mother is endangered.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe supports most of Virginia's laws that prohibit third-trimester abortions, except to protect the life of the mother. He says he opposes any further restrictions and he also supports a repeal of mandatory ultrasounds before abortions are done.
When it comes to states with some of the harshest anti-abortion laws in the country, Virginia is right up near the very top of the list. Even so, Cuccinelli has talked very little about the issue, while McAuliffe has repeatedly argued the the issue characterizes just how extreme Cuccinelli's views are.
Cuccinelli has in turn accused McAuliffe of distorting his views, and says McAuliffe is showing just how extreme his views are on abortion-rights. But while the two candidates exchange barbs with each other, their arguments are being heard, particularly by women, who make up more than half of the state's registered voters.
There have been several pieces of legislation over the past year, keeping the abortion issue on the front page and in everyone's eyes. Last year, legislation passed requiring women have an ultrasound before having an abortion.
This year, legislation was passed barring health insurers from offering abortion coverage under the new healthcare law. Additionally, the Virginia Board of Health enacted new building code restrictions on abortion clinics.
When the board decided to "grandfather" in existing clinics, Cuccinelli stepped in and said the Attorney General's office would not back board members in any lawsuits. The board was forced to drop the added clause.