The anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List made headlines in Virginia last week when it released the first paid advertisement in the gubernatorial battle between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The problem is that the centerpiece of the ad, the first in what SBA List promises will be a $1.5 million campaign to support Cuccinelli, is a blatant lie.
The SBA List ad discusses new “TRAP” regulations passed by the Virginia Department of Health and aggressively pushed by Cuccinelli, which burden abortion clinics with unneccessary restrictions in order to shut them down. The ad claims that McAuliffe, by opposing the new regulations, “refuses to require women’s health clinics to provide the same sanitary environment we expect of dental offices and hospitals.”
Politifact Virginia discovers that not only is this claim blatantly false, but Susan B. Anthony List doesn’t even try to back it up with evidence:
We asked Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the PAC and the Susan B. Anthony List, for proof of the ad’s claim. She provided no facts. “We — meaning Virginia women — expect a safe, sanitary environment inside abortion clinics, places that should be regulated at least as strict as dental offices and in fact, even stricter — like hospitals — which are mentioned immediately after that,” she wrote in an email.
The ad implies that prior to the new regulations, abortion clinics were allowed to operate at lower sanitary standards than dental offices. There’s no evidence to support that. They were treated pretty much the same.
Not that this is a huge surprise coming from the Susan B. Anthony list, which has never bothered itself too much with the truth. After all, even the organization’s name is based on a gross distortion of American history.