A candidate for the House of Delegates was recorded saying he would block any attempt to fund Planned Parenthood with state money. That candidate is AC Cordoza, the Republican challenger to Martha Mugler in the 91 House district.
“What about, doesn’t the state fund Planned Parenthood still,” the person who recorded the audio asked Cordoza outside of a voting location on Friday. “I don’t believe so. But I will block any attempt to do so,” Cordoza responded.
Cordoza confirmed in the audio that it was him and later confirmed it over email.
The person who recorded the audio began the conversation by telling Cordoza that abortion is the biggest issue to them. Cordoza told the person that he is completely against late-term abortion, but noted that Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court decision, “so I can’t do anything about that,” he told the person. “But I can do something about late-term abortions, which I am against, and I will vote against.”
Planned Parenthood is funded by several different sources, but some of that funding does come through the state in various ways like reimbursements for healthcare, grants, and teen-pregnancy prevention programs.
Jamie Lockhart, the president of the Virginia Planned Parenthood chapter commented on the statements from Cordoza Monday saying that he and other Republicans are out of touch with Virginia voters. “They are willing to cut off access to the wide range of reproductive care and primary care Planned Parenthood provides to tens of thousands of Virginians to further their right-wing political agenda,” Lockhart said in a statement. “Defunding would endanger programs like teen pregnancy prevention programs and the contraceptive access initiative, programs that are effective in preventing unplanned pregnancy.”
Cordoza is running against a one-term incumbent in Mugler that flipped a Republican seat in 2019. He accused her of dirty politics Monday.
“This kind of dirty politics by Martha Mugler and her political network is exactly why we need new representation on the Peninsula,” Cordoza said in a statement to Virginia Scope Monday. “Like I told Martha Mugler’s undercover spy, I do not support taxpayer funded abortions and I cannot change Roe v. Wade. I am focused on the economy, veteran care and improving education.”
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Mugler said Cordoza is out of touch with the people in the district. “All women deserve access to quality reproductive health care, regardless of their income. My opponent states he would prevent women from receiving affordable medical services showing just how out of touch he is. He has no business representing women in Richmond,” Mugler said in a statement. “I will continue to support Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”
Mugler won in 2019 with 54% of the vote after the Republican candidate won with 56% two years earlier.
According to the latest campaign finance reports, she has raised $377,759 compared to Cordoza’s $36,199.
Abortion has been a key topic of conversation in Virginia politics since the Texas fetal-heartbeat ban on abortions went into effect on Sept. 1. The Republican gubernatorial candidate has faced questions as to if he would support similar legislation, which he has said he wouldn’t do several times. After experiencing his own hidden video moment where he admitted he cannot campaign hard on abortion because it would turn away Independent voters, Youngkin was eventually pressed to admit at the gubernatorial debate last that he would likely support a ban on abortions when fetuses are suspected to begin feeling pain — typically around 20 weeks.
His Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe has continued to hammer Youngkin on the issue — as have most Democrats and pro-choice advocates.
“Anti-abortion politicians like Cordoza and Youngkin are out of touch with Virginia voters,“ Lockhart said.
All 100 House seats are up for election as well as governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Early voting has already started for the Nov 2. elections.
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