The Old Dominion state’s governor is campaigning for Republican control of the Virginia legislature in an effort to pass pro-life legislation. Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-Va.) launched a bus tour on Labor Day, pushing for early and absentee voting among Republicans ahead of the state’s General Assembly election in November later this year.
At present, Republicans control the lower chamber of the state legislature, while Democrats control the upper chamber. That control of the state senate allowed Democrats earlier this year to block a Youngkin-led attempt to ban abortions at 15 weeks and, last year, halt Youngkin’s attempt to amend the state budget to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortions. State Democrats have also defeated bills to ban third trimester abortions.
Youngkin, through his Spirit of Virginia political action committee (PAC), is supporting and funding pro-life candidates, including incumbent state delegates Emily Brewer and Tara Durant, who have both affirmed that life begins at conception. Last year, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court reversing Roe v. Wade, Youngkin pledged to reintroduce a 15-week abortion ban.
Ahead of Virginia’s off-year election, the governor is doubling down on that pledge. Asked why he’s backing a 15-week abortion ban, Youngkin responded, “I did feel after the Supreme Court rendered a decision that we can come together to protect life at 15 weeks when a baby still feels pain. This is a place where Virginians have by majority [said] they would support fewer abortions, and we can demonstrate that we can come together around this most difficult topic.”
To Youngkin’s point, a Harvard/Harris poll conducted last year after the Roe reversal found over a third of Americans (37%) favor only allowing abortion in cases of rape and incest, and a combined 72% of Americans reject allowing abortion past 15 weeks. Further polling shows that a majority of Virginians agree on banning abortion past 15 weeks. Youngkin also pointed to the fact that Virginians elected an openly and adamantly pro-life governor in 2021, the first Republican to hold the office in over a decade.
Regarding Youngkin’s efforts to campaign for pro-life state-level candidates, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Biblical Worldview Joseph Backholm told The Washington Stand, “We need to advocate for pro-life legislation on the state level because it’s our duty to advocate for the vulnerable, and no one is more vulnerable than a baby. It’s important we see the issue in these terms before we make political calculations.”
Backholm continued, “Whether it’s a winning issue or a losing issue is largely irrelevant. The abolition of slavery was once a losing issue until it wasn’t. But it was the right thing to do… The fact is, 50 years of Roe had a huge impact on the culture, and there are districts in which a pro-life position may be a political liability. There are also districts in which the pro-life position is a political winner. Our obligation is to do the right thing. … We just need to do the right thing because it is the right thing. Eventually truth will prevail, but it will prevail sooner if we are unafraid of it.”
State Democrats are also pushing for early and absentee voting, with abortion as a key platform point. Last month, Virginia House Democrats launched an ad campaign claiming Virginia Republicans will completely ban abortion if elected in November. The ad will run in at least 14 districts. All 140 House seats are up for grabs and abortion is currently legal in Virginia up to 26 weeks, with Democrats pushing for abortion up until birth.
LifeNews Note: S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.
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