Gov. Youngkin plans to seek 15-week abortion ban in Virginia

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Posted at 12:53 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 12:58:53-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Gov. Glenn Youngkin plans to seek a 15-week abortion ban in Virginia, according to a spokesperson with the governor's office.

"Virginians elected a pro-life governor and [Youngkin] supports finding consensus on legislation," Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement Friday.

Youngkin, a Republican, describes himself as a pro-life governor. In a statement following the Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, he vowed to work with the General Assembly to "find areas where we can agree and chart the most successful path forward."

He's voiced support for placing restrictions on abortion when a fetus begins to feel pain in the womb, which some have described as about 20 weeks into pregnancy.

Youngkin has tapped Sens. Siobhan Dunnavant, Steve Newman, Kathy Byron and Margaret Ransone to work on the new abortion legislation.

The legislation will prioritize protecting life when babies begin to feel pain in the womb, including a 15-week threshold.

Youngkin released the following statement Friday on the Supreme Court's Dobbs ruling announcement:

"The Supreme Court of the United States has rightfully returned power to the people and their elected representatives in the states. I'm proud to be a pro-life Governor and plan to take every action I can to protect life. The truth is, Virginians want fewer abortions, not more abortions. We can build a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb, and importantly supporting mothers and families who choose life. That's why I've asked Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Senator Steve Newman, Delegate Kathy Byron and Delegate Margaret Ransone to join us in an effort to bring together legislators and advocates from across the Commonwealth on this issue to find areas where we can agree and chart the most successful path forward. I've asked them to do the important work needed and be prepared to introduce legislation when the General Assembly returns in January."

Virginia has a divided state government, meaning further restrictions on abortion do not appear likely in the short term. However, all state lawmakers are up for re-election in 2023.