Now that the Supreme Court has sent abortion back to the states, what will happen in Virginia?
The current law in Virginia allows abortion during the first and second trimesters of a pregnancy which means abortion is permitted up to 26-27 weeks of gestation.
“Virginians elected a pro-life governor and he supports finding consensus on legislation,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said. “He has tapped Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R – Henrico County), Senator Steve Newman (R – Craig County), Delegate Kathy Byron (R – Lynchburg), and Delegate Margaret Ransone (R – King George) to do so and prioritize protecting life when babies begin to feel pain in the womb, including a 15-week threshold.”
However, some elected representatives in Richmond and in Congress would like to see a complete ban on abortion in Virginia. Last Saturday 5th district Congressman Bob Good’s staff organized a rally in Richmond to call for such a law to be passed. More on the rally organizers, supporters, and bills proposed here.
Sen. Travis Hackworth (R – Tazewell County) will introduce legislation next year to ban all abortions in Virginia and Senator Amanda Chase (R – Chesterfield County) will support such legislation. Delegate Marie March (R-7th district) will introduce a similar bill in the House of Delegates.
“We will make those decisions come in January, we’ll come together as legislators that will give us time to talk to the folks back home, who we represent,” said Chase. “They know where I stand on issues. 100% I’m going to stand with life. I do believe life begins at conception, 100%, and I will do everything I can to protect innocent life and ensuring that due process and the constitutional rights of the unborn are also protected.”
Meanwhile, Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33 district Loudoun) is asking that stronger measures be taken.
“LaRock told WTOP that he’s urging Youngkin to sign an executive order directing state government agencies to not sign any contracts with businesses that support abortion rights.
“I’d like to see Governor Youngkin say that Virginia would not do business with companies that promote, support or perform abortions,” said LaRock. “I’d like to see him do that, perhaps in a coalition of governors.”
LaRock also proposed that Youngkin pull funding from schools, including Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia, unless they agree to stop performing abortions at their medical facilities.
“Taxpayers of Virginia should not be having their dollars sent to institutions that perform abortions,” LaRock said.”
With Republicans controlling the House of Delegates, legislation banning abortion could pass there next year. It’s much less likely to pass in the state Senate where Democrats are in control by one vote. Republicans most likely ally in that chamber is Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) who has said he is personally opposed to abortion but will not vote to ban it. Without him joining Republicans to vote for a ban on abortion it is very unlikely to pass.
“As many know, I am personally opposed to abortion, just like Senator Tim Kaine. Still, I defend the position that women should have safe access to the procedure, at the very least, up to the moment a fetus can feel pain which many agree is 20 plus weeks of a pregnancy; in cases when a mother’s health or life is at risk; in cases of rape that result in a pregnancy; and in cases of incest that result in a pregnancy,” said Morrissey in a statement. “Just to be very clear: I do not believe the government, whether Federal or State, should be telling women what to do with their bodies.”