December 6, 2023

On this yr’s battle for majority management of the Basic Meeting, abortion has emerged as a key concern and a bright-line distinction between Republican and Democratic candidates for the Virginia Home and Senate.

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, whose Spirit of Virginia PAC has donated hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to GOP candidates and supporting organizations, has promoted the narrative that his occasion, ought to they win management of the state Home and Senate on Nov. 7, will implement a 15 week abortion ban in Virginia. After the US Supreme Courtroom struck down Roe v. Wade final yr, the commonwealth is the final state within the South the place reproductive rights are protected, and such a ban will make Virginia a part of the bloc of states from which ladies flee once they want reproductive well being care.

Youngkin has tried to characterize his proposed ban as a “affordable restrict,” and each he and some GOP candidates have tried to make use of this rhetorical sleight-of-hand to mislead voters. However he and his fellow Republicans have repeatedly made it clear that they plan to infringe on reproductive rights as brutally as they’ll.

Republican Tara Durant, who’s working in Fredericksburg-area SD-27, was not too long ago caught on tape signaling that she could also be keen to help an abortion ban that takes impact sooner than 15 weeks. Moreover, she’s on report stating that she is going to “all the time help” payments that “shield[ ]  the rights of the unborn.”

In Manassas-area SD-30, Republican candidate Invoice Woolf confessed at a fundraising occasion that Republicans themselves haven’t agreed on how far abortion bans in Virginia ought to go.

“I feel we are able to begin to transfer the needle if we’re speaking about it extra,” he stated.

GOP Home of Delegates candidate John Stirrup, who’s working in northern Virginia’s HD-21, has been caught on tape twice admitting that he “would help a 100% ban” and that he’d “prefer to see … [a] complete ban.”

Home Speaker Todd Gilbert, who will possible proceed to steer the chamber if Republicans win a majority, has supported many anti-abortion payments in his legislative tenure, together with a measure proclaiming that life begins at conception and that “unborn youngsters” would have “all of the rights, privileges, and immunities out there to different individuals” below Virginia legislation.

And whereas Youngkin has labored to divert the dialog round Republicans’ help for banning abortion to concentrate on his 15-week proposal, he has proclaimed publicly that he can be keen to enact bans that go a lot additional.

“Any invoice that involves my desk I’ll signal fortunately and gleefully in an effort to shield life,” Youngkin vowed final June.

Greater than a decade has handed since Virginia authorities was totally managed by Republicans – Republican governor, Republican-majority state Home and Senate – and a fast look again into that period reveals how far Virginia Republicans may go along with abortion bans and different restrictions in the event that they win management of the legislature on this yr’s elections.

In 2012, Virginia Republicans made nationwide headlines (and the late-night comedy present monologues) by passing what grew to become often known as “the transvaginal ultrasound invoice.” The measure would have required docs to topic any girl in search of an abortion to an invasive medical process in an effort to produce a picture of the fetus. The lady would then be pressured to have a look at the picture, which many Republicans believed would trigger the ladies in search of the abortion to rethink the cautious and infrequently tough resolution she’d already made.

The invoice lastly handed solely when the requirement for transvaginal ultrasounds – by which a probe is inserted into a lady’s vagina to acquire the ultrasound picture – was amended in order that the process may very well be refused and couldn’t be pressured on sufferers who reported that their pregnancies have been the results of rape or incest.

The then-Republican managed legislature additionally handed a requirement that girls in search of abortions should wait out a medically pointless – and generally harmful24-hour interval between being subjected to and viewing an ultrasound and really present process an abortion process.

Democrats repealed these measures after successful majority management of the state Home and Senate in 2019.

Within the 2012 and 2013 legislative periods, when Republicans had full management, the existence of the reproductive rights granted by Roe v. Wade prevented the GOP from passing full bans on abortion procedures. Now that the Roe resolution has been overturned, there’s little cause to suppose that Virginia Republicans received’t resurrect a few of their most excessive proposals from years previous – all the pieces from fetal personhood and lengthy ready intervals to banning the process totally.

And each Republicans’ own rhetoric and their previous votes on anti-abortion payments reveal that all the pieces is on the desk in the event that they win energy in November.

“MAGA Republicans will ban abortion in Virginia in the event that they win this November,” stated Home Democratic Caucus Chief Don Scott. “It’s occurring throughout us – abortion bans, ladies being jailed, and preventable medical emergencies. And the Virginia GOP needs to take us backwards and make us the subsequent Florida or Mississippi. We will’t let that occur.”


  • Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler is Dogwood’s chief political correspondent. She can be the nation’s foremost knowledgeable in state politics with nearly twenty years of expertise in statehouse machinations, and her comedian e-book assortment might be greater than yours.

    View all posts