Controversial Miscarriage Ads Surface in Virginia Delegate Race
A negative campaign ad is raising questions in the commonwealth. The latest is a flyer that cites voting records for Delegate Joseph Yost of the 12th district. The flyer was sent out to voters across the Southwest Virginia.
In the ad, it states that "Joseph Yost voted to investigate women who have miscarriages" and claims that he has "voted repeatedly for a plan that would force police to investigate women when they have a miscarriage."
Joseph Yost and his wife Lisa, however, say this is a personal attack that they are offended by, especially after a tragic loss.
"It's hurtful. I don't even know any other way to describe it," Lisa Yost said.
She received this flyer in the mail at her home just days ago.
She says she is outraged. In the past year, the Yosts have gone through the tragedy of a miscarriage twice: once in September 2012 and the second in February of this year.
She says she feels this negative campaign ad has gone too far, and feels like a personal attack.
"I hate to make that accusation, I do, but it's hard to not take it personal when it's such a personal subject."
For the Yosts, it's an accusation they say couldn't come at a worse time.
"The due date for our second child would have been this Thursday so I guess you could say this came at a very wrong time," Joseph said.
We checked into the accusations the negative campaign ad refers to.
House bill one is filed by Delegate Bob Marshal each year.
The bill focuses on the rights of an unborn child and states that a child would be declared a person at conception.
"It was drawn so that in the event say that someone was pregnant and hit by a drunk driver it would provide that framework to charge that person with manslaughter."
He says the bill is narrowly drawn and says the ad takes the bill way out of proportion.
Now in the heat of campaign season, with election day only weeks away, the Yosts are asking for an apology.
But we spoke with Democratic opponent James Harder, who authorized the ad, and he's not backing down.
"This is not meant as a personal attack and, as I said, my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced the pain and suffering of a miscarriage, and I think its important for us to know the issues that are at stake in this election," Harder said.
Harder says he was unaware of the Yosts' miscarriages before the ad went out, but he stands by his campaign.
"This was designed to talk about his legislative voting record. I feel that it is important that the people of the 12th district know the votes he has made in the past two year," Harder said.
And the issues will be front and clear when voters choose between the two candidates in November.