Virginia Governor Will Pursue 15-Week Abortion Ban

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After the Supreme Court effectively overruled Roe v. Wade in June of this year, many states had different reactions to the shocking ruling. It was Justice Samuel Alito who said that the 1973 Roe ruling and repeated subsequent high court decisions reaffirming Roe "must be overruled" because they were "egregiously wrong," the arguments "exceptionally weak" and so "damaging" that they amounted to "an abuse of judicial authority."

President Joe Biden largely criticized the ruling calling it a "sad day" for women in America. Biden urged Congress to pass a law protecting abortion rights, an unlikely proposition given its partisan divisions. Biden said his administration will protect women's access to medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration including pills for contraception and medication abortion, while also combating efforts to restrict women from traveling to other states to obtain abortions.

What does this ruling mean for Virginians?

Virginia's republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, was sworn into office on January 15, 2022. Youngkin's win rocked the state but was a welcome victory for conservatives in the state. The 54-year-old Youngkin’s defeat of Democrat Terry McAuliffe marked a sharp turnabout in a state that had shifted to the left over the past decade.

Youngkin has vocalized his plans to adjust abortion laws within the state alongside other conservative lawmakers at his disposal. In an interview with the Washington Post, he lamented that Most importantly, he also vocalized to the Post he supports exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or if the person’s life is at risk. Youngkin made it clear in a statement that he's a leader of the people, “I also represent all Virginians,” he said, adding that “I believe the place we should be able to get to is a 15-week pain threshold”

“Virginians elected a pro-life governor and he supports finding consensus on legislation. He has tapped Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Senator Steve Newman, Delegate Kathy Byron and Delegate Margaret Ransone to do so and prioritize protecting life when babies begin to feel pain in the womb, including a 15-week threshold,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement."

It's important to note under current Virginia law, abortion is legal in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. The procedure is allowed in the third trimester if the pregnancy “is likely to result in the death of the woman or substantially and irremediably impair the mental or physical health of the woman.” Minors are required to have parental consent for an abortion. Public funding for the procedure in the state is only available in cases of life endangerment, rape, incest, or fetal impairment, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

The Virginia Governor has a stern warning for those citizens looking to incite violence in light of the recent ruling: “we are ready to take appropriate action if need be. Virginia will not stand for lawlessness or violence,” he said.

Virginia residents, what do you think of Youngkin's plans to pursue a 15-week abortion despite cases of rape, incest, or if the person’s life is at risk? Do you agree with him? Let us know in the comments.

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