Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Howell donates to anti-abortion PAC
House Speaker Bill Howell has made a $10,000 campaign donation to a PAC that that advocates “advancing the Christian worldview in politics.”
The No Excuse Ministry PAC seems primarily focused on advancing pro-life issues, particularly among minority communities; on the PAC’s Facebook page, founder Terry Beatley writes of talking to pastors about Planned Parenthood’s “eugenics agenda” and targeting of black urban areas.
Planned Parenthood grew out of the work of Margaret Sanger, an early advocate of birth control, and pro-life groups often point to Sanger’s support for certain aspects of the eugenics movement as evidence that Planned Parenthood is racist. Pro-choice groups say their opponents misconstrue Sanger’s views and actions.
Howell said he doesn’t agree with everything Beatley says on the website, but that she has valid points.
“She’s got some good points. She may say things more strongly than I would,” Howell said. “I don’t think you can deny the comments that she has… given some of the stuff that the founders of Planned Parenthood said.”
Beatley is a board member of the Virginia Christian Alliance, which helped organize a large pastor breakfast in Fredericksburg earlier this year.
Her website says the No Excuse Ministry hopes to “(release) the Democrat stronghold on minorities,” and Howell said he does think Republicans should do more to reach black voters, many of whom traditionally vote for Democrats.
“I do think it’s a shame that we don’t have more of the black vote in the Republican Party. We’re the party that’s created jobs, we’re the party of low taxes, we’re the party that hasn’t tried to raise the regressive taxes… on people that can least afford to pay them,” Howell said. “You look back at the historic background of the civil rights movement, it was all driven by Republicans. For whatever reason, we Republicans don’t seem to do as well with the black vote, and I think we’ve got to reach out more, show we’ve got similar interests.”