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General Assembly candidates clash over campaign mailer

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Oct 14 2013 06:27:24 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 14 2013 10:20:16 PM EDT

The front page says Joseph Yost wants to make a hospital room a crime scene..

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. -

 Joseph and Lisa Yost say they were dismayed when a flyer from the campaign of Democratic challenger James Harder arrived in their mailbox.

"It outraged me and it hurt," Lisa Yost told us Monday afternoon.

The front page says the Republican Delegate wants to make a hospital room a crime scene. And inside it says he voted to investigate women who have miscarriages.

The Yosts say the mailing is not only a false political attack, but a personal one as well. 

Twice in the last year, they've experienced pregnancies that ended in miscarriage. The suggestion that he supports legislation that would make a hospital room a crime scene, Joseph Yost says, is "sickening."

The mailer cites Yost's support for House Bill 1, the so-called personhood legislation that would declare that life begins at conception.

"If you sit down and read the bill. and I would encourage everybody to sit down and read it," Yost said in an interview, "it's only a couple of paragraphs long and there's nothing in there that talks anything about miscarriages, about law enforcement about investigating. It's a very straightforward piece of legislation."

Harder says his heart goes out to anyone who has experienced a miscarriage, but maintains it's not a stretch to suggest the law would require police to investigate.

"The language in this bill is clear that it would give full rights to a fertilized egg," Harder told us, "and just as you or I would receive those full rights, I don't see how you couldn't make the determination that an investigation would have to go into a loss of life."

Lisa Yost has asked for an apology from Harder, and says he should drop out of the race.  Harder says he stands by the mailing.