**UPDATED**

“We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country,” Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, told the audience at the Omni Shoreham hotel. “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.” [Buzzfeed]

LEAVING MISSOURI couldn’t come fast enough for me. The dreams I had of getting to Broadway had fueled my departure, but I also had no intention of staying because of the backward way the state’s politicians treated the rights of women. Decades later I find myself in Virginia, with Republicans targeting women’s rights in extreme ways, but now it’s the 21st century!

Let me add a personal note, that when I was faced with the situation myself, ironically I was living in Manassas, Virginia at the time. As I’ve written before, including in the chapter in my book titled “Is Freedom Just for Men?,” I had to travel all the way to New York, crossing several state lines because there was no option in Virginia, no clinics, to find a doctor who could help me. Now Cuccinelli wants to send Virginia women back to that reality, because he’s certainly not going to stop a female who feels it’s her only option, as I did.

With all the challenges we have in this country, Republicans are focused on empowering the government to invade the lives of women. The Republican Party won’t be dead if Obama wins in November, it’s already dead, because no decent conservative believes focusing on controlling women’s has anything remotely to do with conservatism, and it’s certainly not a major priority on the minds of the majority of Americans.

So when I think of Mitt Romney’s question channeling Reagan, asking voters whether they’re better off than they were four years ago, as someone living in Virginia I’d have to say no. But it’s not because of President Obama or the Democrats, it’s because of Republicans.

Virginia’s Board of Health did an about-face on abortion regulations Friday, voting to impose strict, hospital-style building standards even on existing clinics and reversing its June decision. The reversal came two days after the office of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) sent a letter to board members advising them against grandfathering clinics ““ and warning that they could be personally liable for legal fees if they were sued after ignoring his legal advice. [Washington Post]

Shorter: Ken Cuccinelli threatened board members to vote his way or else.

You’d think Gov. Bob Transvaginal Probe McDonnell would have taught Ken Cuccinelli something after he lost a chance to be Mitt’s vice presidential running mate over the spectacle of right-wing Republicans in the legislature. Cuccinelli dreams of being governor, so he’s sucking up to the Virginia cranks that will decide his political fate at next year’s nominating convention. It may not work out that way after this blunder.

The war on women, Virginia edition, has been going on for a while now and I’ve witnessed it. However, Ken Cuccinelli’s personal ambition to become governor through putting 20 clinics out of business is not only mimicking what was done in Mississippi, times 20, it’s threatening the very lives of women in Virginia and their health.

Conservatism used to mean fighting against government control in our lives.

It’s another example of Republicans using governmental force to push women into situations where they have no access to reproductive health care when they have no place else to go but a clinic, which will be shut down if these hospital-style building standards are implemented.

Ken Cuccinelli is an extremist who is so hungry to appease the rabid right to amass more power that he’s willing to put the lives of Virginia women at risk to do it. There’s nothing “pro life” about that.

There’s very little difference in what Cuccinelli is doing in Virginia and the anti-women’s freedom platform of Romney-Ryan, which was adopted in Tampa. Forced birth for women who get in trouble is the Republican solution, but also mandating certain tests before a woman can have a legal procedure, which abortion remains in this country for very good reasons.

The consequences of an abortion are between the woman, her own conscience, as well as her minister, priest or adviser. Government’s got no business in the middle.

Romney-Ryan, just like Cucccinelli, want to do for America, what’s now playing out in Virginia, which is one reason there are ads galore hitting Romney-Ryan on their extreme views on women and abortion rights. Make clinic access to women obsolete, so they have no choice when they find themselves in an emergency situation they can’t handle and didn’t expect or plan.

That’s how ignorant these people are. They don’t realize that a woman who feels her own life is threatened by an unplanned pregnancy, not physically threatened, but emotionally or in other ways, can never be forced to bring a zygote to term if she doesn’t want to. She will risk her life stopping that from happening, which is one reason why abortion became legal in the first place.

Somebody needs to rescue Virginia from the Republicans, because women here are going to be in trouble if these extremist Republicans aren’t sent a message. No politician should be able to use his or her office to do what Ken Cuccinelli is doing in Virginia.

There is a war on women, and in Virginia the general is Ken Cuccinelli.

I love this state, its beauty, birds, wildlife, all of it is magnificent.

Come on, Virginia, you’re better than this.