‘One Vote Away From Becoming Texas’: Youngkin’s Win And Virginia Abortion Rights

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Reproductive rights advocates were dealt a important stroke past nighttime erstwhile Republican Glenn Youngkin won Virginia’s gubernatorial contention against erstwhile Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). Youngkin, a vocation backstage equity executive, painted himself arsenic a mean erstwhile convenient, but galore reproductive rights activists are disquieted the governor-elect is harboring overmuch much utmost views connected abortion.

It’s a “worrisome issue,” said Mary Bauer, the enforcement manager of the ACLU of Virginia. Currently, the Virginia Senate is divided 21 to 19 with a Democratic majority, but determination is 1 Democratic senator, Bauer said, who is “staunchly anti-abortion.”

“It’s excessively aboriginal to cognize what circumstantial bills volition beryllium introduced, truthful we’ll person to spot however that develops. Somebody, earlier the election, said that if Democrats suffer the House, we could beryllium 1 ballot distant from becoming Texas,” Bauer said.

“That whitethorn beryllium a spot hyperbolic, but it’s person to the information than immoderate of america are comfy with.”

Although McAuliffe’s run continually tried to necktie Youngkin to Donald Trump’s utmost ideology, including the erstwhile president’s anti-abortion stance, the maneuver simply didn’t work. Using a two-pronged campaign, Youngkin deftly appealed to some mean Republicans and much extremist conservatives ― dancing astir the taxable of termination to guarantee helium got the votes of suburban Virginians who had abandoned the Republican Party during Trump’s presidency.

“Youngkin and a batch of different candidates moving arsenic Republicans person downplayed the contented of termination connected the run trail, but I deliberation they volition perfectly effort to rotation backmost restrictions connected abortion,” Jamie Lockhart, enforcement manager of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, told HuffPost Wednesday morning.

Initially, Youngkin campaigned for the GOP information arsenic “unabashedly” anti-abortion, telling a assemblage astatine a run halt earlier this twelvemonth that helium would enactment to “protect the beingness of each Virginia child, calved and unborn.” But weeks aft clinching the Republican nomination, Youngkin’s passionate anti-abortion statements beauteous overmuch disappeared from his stump speeches.

Youngkin’s screen was blown a spot erstwhile an undercover video of the then-GOP gubernatorial campaigner was released successful July. In the video, Youngkin tells a idiosyncratic helium believes to beryllium a protagonist and staunch anti-abortion advocator that helium has constricted his nationalist comments connected his afloat stance connected reproductive rights truthful helium doesn’t alienate mean voters.

When asked if helium would present an utmost termination regularisation similar to Texas’ six-week ban, Youngkin responded that helium is “staunchly, unabashedly pro-life” earlier different idiosyncratic heard successful the footage asks if helium would defund Planned Parenthood oregon “take it to the abortionists.”

“I’m going to beryllium truly honorable with you. The abbreviated reply is successful this campaign, I can’t,” Youngkin replied. “When I’m politician and I person a bulk successful the House, we tin commencement going connected offense. But arsenic a run topic, sadly, that successful information won’t triumph my autarkic votes that I person to get.”

Now that Youngkin is acceptable to instrumentality bureau successful January, termination rights advocates are fearful helium volition rapidly undo each of the enactment existent Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and different Democratic authorities lawmakers person done to support termination entree successful the state. The destiny of the House of Delegates is up successful the aerial arsenic of Wednesday afternoon, though Republicans look to beryllium connected the verge of taking power of the little chamber. Democrats volition support a constrictive bulk successful the authorities Senate.

Just past year, Northam signed aggregate termination protections into law, including authorities that removed the request for radical seeking abortions to acquisition an ultrasound 24 hours anterior to getting the procedure. Other protections included removing the request that facilities that provided much than 5 abortions each twelvemonth beryllium designated arsenic hospitals.

“Based connected his past remarks and consistently avoiding giving factual answers surrounding reproductive wellness issues, I americium acrophobic for the authorities of reproductive rights successful the Commonwealth with Glenn Youngkin successful the Governor’s Mansion,” Virginia House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D) told HuffPost connected Wednesday morning.

Herring introduced the authorities House measure that repealed galore of Virginia’s termination restrictions past year. “There are inactive galore votes to beryllium tallied to find the bulk successful the House, and House Democrats person fought vigilantly for reproductive rights nether Republican power successful the past, and we are good equipped to bash it again if we must,” she added.

Lockhart doesn’t deliberation Youngkin and his supporters volition needfully present an termination regularisation similar Texas’, which bans the process astir six weeks into a gestation and deputizes backstage citizens to enforce it. But she does judge determination volition beryllium much attacks connected the close to choose, including thing akin to Mississippi’s 15-week prohibition connected abortion, which is currently threatening to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Whatever comes next, Bauer promised she and different advocates volition proceed to combat for safe, ineligible and accessible termination attraction successful Virginia. “We person to support fighting,” she said. “We person to person radical crossed the commonwealth explicit their interest that Virginia is simply a spot wherever termination wellness attraction remains disposable to women.”

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