Cooch Watch Plans Anti-Cuccinelli Events in Charlottesville
A grass-roots group is gathering funds in Charlottesville to fight Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's bid to become Virginia governor.
Members call themselves "cooch watchers," based on a nickname attached to the candidate.
Cooch Watch organizers made the trip to Charlottesville from Richmond Monday to kick-off a week of rallies and events targeting the attorney general's views on women's rights.
Blue Moon Diner hosted Cooch Watch members and supporters for lunch Monday. The West Main Street diner will donate 10 percent of its sales through Friday to the group.
Cooch Watch formed last year in response to the attorney general's approval of state health regulations on abortion clinics.
Funds raised at the diner this week will help "cooch watchers" travel across the commonwealth to protest Cuccinelli's appearances and fight his campaign for the governor's office.
"We've seen what Ken Cuccinelli has done to women's rights as attorney general. I don't even want to think about what he could do as governor. The man has a clear agenda and it is to get rid of abortion rights in Virginia and we're going to stand against that," Shelley Abrams, Cooch Watch co-founder.
"So many things that women have fought for as far as public health issues and women's rights issues seem to be being challenged now," said Laura Galgano, co-owner of Blue Moon Diner.
"Cooch watchers" will rally outside an event where Cuccinelli is speaking in Richmond Tuesday, on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Office issued a response to the Cooch Watch group. It states "this group is working off a couple basic factual inaccuracies."
Read the full statement below.
Response from the office of Ken Cuccinelli:
This group is working off a couple basic factual inaccuracies. The correct information has been in the news media time and again, but they either don't pay attention to the news, or they have chosen to ignore the information:
1) The attorney general did not support the invasive ultrasound bill in the General Assembly last year.
2) If the group has a problem with Virginia's laws, they need to speak to their delegates and senators, because the attorney general does not make laws in Virginia; he merely enforces them.
As an example, with the new abortion clinic regulations, what this group fails to realize is that his duty as the state's top lawyer is to advise his clients (in this case, the Virginia Board of Health) what the law is -- regardless of whether he agrees with it or not -- and how to correctly follow it. That's what he did. He did not make the law that said that abortion clinics must meet hospital building standards, the General Assembly did. And when the board was considering the regulations, members of the General Assembly -- Del. Kathy Byron for one -- explained to the board that his advice was in line with the language of the law that they passed.
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