Virginia’s Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe accepted an endorsement this week from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, a pro-abortion advocacy group that has called for defunding the police.
“I’m proud to be endorsed by @NARALVirginia,” McAuliffe said in a recent tweet. “With a right-wing Supreme Court ready to hack away at the right to choose and Glenn Youngkin promising to ban abortion, reproductive freedom is at stake in this race. I’ll always fight to protect the right to choose.” The former governor has publicly supported legislation that would legalize abortion up until the moment of birth.
I’m proud to be endorsed by @NARALVirginia. With a right-wing Supreme Court ready to hack away at the right to choose and Glenn Youngkin promising to ban abortion, reproductive freedom is at stake in this race.
I’ll always fight to protect the right to choose. pic.twitter.com/bySHCdytge
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) July 19, 2021
While abortion remains NARAL Virginia’s primary cause, the organization has waded into additional political issues in recent years. Following the death of George Floyd last year and the protests and riots that followed, the advocacy group came out in favor of defunding the police in June 2020.
“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” it said. “Defund the police. Invest in Black communities. Tell Donald Trump to resign.”
📣 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
— REPRO Rising Virginia (@REPRORising_VA) June 21, 2020
The organization’s national arm, NARAL Pro-Choice America, has also repeatedly called for defunding law enforcement, claiming police have refused to deal with the “systemic racism” in their profession.
“It’s past time to defund the police,” the group said in April 2021. “After multiple failed attempts to change the culture of policing, it’s clear that police have not succeeded in reckoning with the generations of systemic racism, oppression, and state violence it has engaged in.”
It’s past time to defund the police. After multiple failed attempts to change the culture of policing, it’s clear that police have not succeeded in reckoning with the generations of systemic racism, oppression, and state violence it has engaged in. We must continue to do better.
— NARAL (@NARAL) April 20, 2021
We have to meet this moment by dismantling the systems of oppression that are still so entrenched in society. We have to defund the police. We have to achieve racial justice. We have to end the Black maternal mortality crisis. Reproductive freedom won't be possible until we do.
— NARAL (@NARAL) April 18, 2021
Being forced to live in constant fear of state violence is a risk to every fundamental freedom we hold dear. It’s clear that there will never be reproductive freedom until we have the freedom to live without the threat of racist violence. It’s time to defund the police.
— NARAL (@NARAL) April 16, 2021
Since announcing his candidacy for governor in December 2020, McAuliffe has seemingly taken an antagonistic position toward law enforcement. During a Democrat primary debate in May, the former governor came out in support of ending qualified immunity for police officers. Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine that protects government officials, such as law enforcement, from liability unless they violate clearly established statutory or constitutional law.
When asked whether McAuliffe agrees with NARAL’s position on defunding police, his campaign did not return The Federalist’s request for comment.
Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin was quick to criticize the former governor, with a campaign spokeswoman blasting McAuliffe for accepting the endorsement.
“Terry McAuliffe proudly accepted the endorsement of an extreme organization which supports taxpayer-funded abortion, supports late-term abortions, and wants to defund the police,” Youngkin press secretary Macaulay Porter told The Federalist. “The majority of Virginians do not support McAuliffe’s extreme pro-abortion and anti-police agenda.”