Home Youngkin makes it clear: He wants to enact a full-out abortion ban in Virginia

Youngkin makes it clear: He wants to enact a full-out abortion ban in Virginia

Chris Graham
Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Photo courtesy Office of Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

It sure sounds like Gov. Glenn Youngkin wants a full-out abortion ban, and the only thing stopping him is the Democrat-majority State Senate.

The 2023 General Assembly elections will be a referendum on a lot of things. Abortion will clearly be at the forefront.

“I believe, as a pro-life governor, that life begins at conception, and my job as a pro-life governor in the state of Virginia, where 18 months ago, the debate in our General Assembly was around whether abortion should be allowed all the way up through and including birth, funded by taxpayer money, and so this in Virginia is a debate that we are going to run to the Supreme Court’s decision,” Youngkin said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Quick fact check there: Youngkin is misrepresenting that there was a debate “around whether abortion should be allowed all the way up to and including birth, funded by taxpayer money.”

Legislation introduced by Northern Virginia Democratic Del. Kathy Tran back in 2019, ultimately rejected by a House committee, proposed changes in restrictions in state law on third-trimester abortions, which account for around 1 percent of all abortions.

Current state law requires that the operation needs to be done in a hospital, that three physicians have to certify the operation and that “measures for life support for the product of such abortion or miscarriage must be available and utilized if there is any clear evidence of viability.”

Tran’s bill would have required certification by only one doctor. It would also have removed language requiring that the danger to the mother be “substantial and irremediable.”

It’s important to note this, and that Youngkin apparently feels the need to mischaracterize the debate, and that Robert Acosta, the interviewer, didn’t challenge him on this point, allowing Youngkin to paint a picture of Virginia as a place that not that long ago wanted to kill babies at birth, and so it would be a lot to expect the legislature to endorse a full ban.

“I agree with that this is a decision for states to make by elected officials, by the citizens of Virginia, and that’s why, right out of the box, I called for a 15-week pain threshold bill to be formed and crafted by a bipartisan group of legislators,” Youngkin said. “I think this is what it’s all about, is this is a moment for our country to have a discussion around this. and each state will decide something different. And I think that’s the, that’s the real value of the Supreme Court’s decision.”

Costa then pressed Youngkin on whether he will ever pursue a full ban.

“The reality is that as a pro-life governor in a state like Virginia where I have a Senate that’s controlled by Democrats and a House that’s controlled by Republicans, we have to find a way to get things done,” Youngkin said, not answering the question, but also very much answering the question.

“I believe that’s what we’ve been able to do is get things done at a time where you have to bring people together in order to make progress. As I said, I believe life begins at conception. In Virginia, we’ve got to work with a Senate and a House. This is what we’ve been doing.”

His focus is on “bring(ing) people together in order to make progress.” He has to “work with a Senate and a House.” He believes “life begins at conception.”

What he’s saying there: he needs a Republican-majority Senate to be able to get a full abortion ban.

Only he didn’t say so outright, so Costa followed up, asking again: would Youngkin pursue a full ban?

“I believe that what my job is, is to get something done, and I believe we can get a 15-week pain threshold bill done in Virginia for the first time,” Costa said. “Think about it, this was a state, again, that just 18 months ago was talking about enabling abortion all the way up through and including birth, and now we’re able to talk about a 15-week pain threshold bill where a baby feels pain. This is a remarkable moment for us. And it’s an opportunity, I’m not going to let go.”

Costa, again, failed to correct Youngkin’s mischaracterization of the debate over Tran’s bill, so again, shame on him.

Last question from Costa: “You support exceptions for rape, incest in the life of the mother, some other Republican governors do not. Are they wrong?”

“I think this is a moment where we have to reflect on our personal beliefs, and as a pro-life governor, I have really reflected on my own faith in my beliefs,” Youngkin said. “And I do believe that there should be exceptions that are made in the case of rape and incest and when the life of the mother is truly at risk. Again, this is a moment that, where people have to come together. The one thing that’s very much agreed upon in Virginia today is that we want fewer abortions, not more. And I think this is a chance over the next five months for a bipartisan group of legislators to craft a path there and give me a bill that I can sign.”

You can tell that he wants to sign another one after the 2023 state midterms.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].