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Warner applauds Senior Center<br> Makes remarks on pill debate during visit to Charlottesville
Daily Progress Online (Charlottesville, VA) ^ | May 14, 2003 | Bob Gibson

Posted on 05/14/2003 7:19:31 AM PDT by The Other Harry

Warner applauds Senior Center
Makes remarks on pill debate during visit to Charlottesville

By Bob Gibson / Daily Progress staff writer
May 14, 2003

Gov. Mark R. Warner said Tuesday that he rejects a Northern Virginia GOP lawmaker’s efforts to redefine "morning after" birth control pills as abortion agents and to have the pills banned from university student health centers.

"I agree with the attorney general’s office," said Warner, speaking in Charlottesville. He was referring to a Friday afternoon memorandum to colleges by Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore’s office that found the state’s universities are not violating Virginia’s informed consent law by dispensing the pills to students.

Kilgore, a Republican, is his party’s likely candidate for governor in 2005.

"I don’t believe the boards of visitors should be second-guessing the Food and Drug Administration in terms of drug designations," said Warner, an Alexandria Democrat. "These are decisions that should be left to the school’s health officials."

Warner gave his views between a pair of appearances in which he signed a highway safety measure in front of 300 law enforcement and transportation officials at the Doubletree Hotel Charlottesville and celebrated the Charlottesville Senior Center’s status as the first in Virginia to earn national accreditation.

The governor also was scheduled to have made a third speech at a Boys and Girls Club dinner and to have been a guest on the live public radio call-in program "Evening Edition" on WVTF, but canceled his two final Charlottesville appearances to hurry back to Richmond early to deal with a family health problem.

The statewide controversy over schools being asked to stop dispensing "morning after" pills now involves 10 universities, including the University of Virginia.

Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Manassas, had written letters to the universities trying to force the pills off campus and arguing that the schools could be violating a state law that requires women seeking abortions to receive information about the procedure and wait 24 hours. Marshall considers the pills to be abortion agents because they can prevent a fertilized egg from becoming attached within the womb.

"The FDA has called the drug in question here a contraceptive device," Warner said. "To try to call it something else would be superimposing somebody’s outside judgment."

Although James Madison University’s board of visitors took Marshall’s advice and narrowly voted last month to stop dispensing the drug at JMU’s student health clinic, Warner hinted that the board may change its mind.

"I think over the coming month that the issue may be revisited," the governor said. Warner spoke on safety at Virginia’s 15th Annual Conference on Transportation Safety and signed a bill to create highway safety corridors on certain highways in the state, probably to include portions of Interstate 81 in western Virginia.

The legislation will create corridors "frankly where unsafe driving is taking place," Warner said. The fines for reckless driving in such corridors would be at least $200 and fines for other moving violations would double. The corridors have proven effective in other states, he said.

Retiring Del. James F. Almand, D-Arlington, and Ab Quillen, the state’s retiring Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner, received governor’s transportation safety lifetime achievement awards from Warner, who said four of his five highway safety measures won General Assembly approval this year. L.B. "Brad" Chandler later received a governor’s transportation safety award for the Safe Ride Home program that he and his law firm, Chandler Franklin & O’Bryan, started in 1990.

Warner told a crowd of several hundred people at the Charlottesville Senior Center that he plans to convene a statewide conference on aging issues this September with the AARP.

"We have to look at these issues in a brand new way," Warner said. Many Virginians are going back to work at age 65 or older, and the state’s elderly residents have new needs and expectations for housing, transportation and health care, he said.

"We have to rethink what work means in the 21st century," he said. "We have to rethink the whole issue of health care -- and quality of life issues also have to be addressed."

Warner congratulated the Senior Center, which was formed 43 years ago as the second such facility in the state, for becoming Virginia’s first nationally accredited senior center.

Contact Bob Gibson at (434) 978-7243 or

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: aarp; abortion; charlottesville; dmv; jerrykilgore; jmu; levonorgestrel; markwarner; morningafterpill; robertmarshall; ru486; seniors; spending; uva
Our governor has recently been on what essentially amounts to a campaign trip throughout central VA at taxpayer expense, promising to give out money and telling each audience he speaks to whatever he thinks they want to hear.

In Staunton, a small town near where I live, he promised that "the state" (i.e. the state's taxpayers) would cough up a million dollars to help restore an old hotel.

I would very much like to see that hotel restored, but I don't think people from other parts of the state should have to pay for that.

Money from heaven.

I also have *no* idea how the good folks at the Daily Progress got the first part of the headline that they used for this article. (Actually, I do have an idea -- but it isn't fit to print.)

1 posted on 05/14/2003 7:19:31 AM PDT by The Other Harry
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