Virginia Spotlights GOP’s Relentless Abortion Extremism

Despite the overwhelming rejection of the GOP’s extreme anti-abortion agenda in the midterms last year, Republicans are continuing to pursue restrictions to reproductive access across the country. Virginia is the latest example, where voters rejected Republicans’ push to roll back the right to choose in a special election yesterday.

Fresh off an election loss where Virginia voters rejected Glenn Youngkin’s anti-abortion candidate in a special election for state Senate, Virginia Republicans introduced a bill commissioned by Youngkin to ban abortion in the commonwealth and threaten doctors with criminal charges. 

Washington Post: “The election, to fill the swing-district seat vacated by Republican Jen A. Kiggans after she was elected to Congress in November, occurs against the backdrop of a proposal by Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to ban the procedure in Virginia after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for rape, incest and to preserve the mother’s life.

But Youngkin, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has hinted that he is willing to go further. At a gathering in June to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that had legalized abortion nationwide, Youngkin said he believes life begins at conception, and he said he would ‘gleefully’ sign ‘any bill [to protect life] that comes to my desk.’”

Virginia Mercury: “The outcome, if it holds, will give Senate Democrats more power to block Republican proposals, such as tougher abortion restrictions, pushed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the GOP-controlled House of Delegates in the legislative session that starts Wednesday.”

WRIC: “Under the legislation filed by Byron, physicians who perform or attempt to perform abortions after that threshold would face a Class 4 felony that carries a sentence of up to 10 years and a possible $100,000 fine.”

The House Republican majority is making abortion restriction one of their first priorities as they tee up votes on anti-choice legislation this week.

HuffPost: “House Republicans are set to vote on a pair of abortion bills this week, just a few months after their disappointing performance in the 2022 midterm elections that even some top Republicans like former President Donald Trump attributed to extreme abortion policies.”

PennLive: “U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a western Pennsylvania Republican, has re-introduced a bill to ban abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected. … There are 62 co-sponsors on the Heartbeat Protection Act.”

Despite the dangerous ban already in place in Florida, Ron DeSantis has committed to signing legislation to restrict reproductive access even further.

Florida Politics: “Gov. DeSantis ‘ready to sign’ abortion ‘heartbeat bill’”

The Daily Signal: “‘The upcoming 2023 Florida legislative session starts in March, and we look forward to working with the Florida Legislature to further advance protections for innocent life,’ press secretary Bryan Griffin shared with The Daily Signal on Tuesday afternoon.”

Tallahassee Democrat: “In Florida, strategy sessions involving representatives of DeSantis, including his chief-of-staff, James Uthmeier, and anti-abortion advocates have already taken place, according to some participants who did not want to speak publicly about the internal discussions.

“DeSantis in his 2018 campaign for governor said during the Republican primary that he would support a law banning abortion when a fetal heartbeat is thought to be detected, usually around six weeks.”

Even so, DeSantis faced a scathing attack from Kristi Noem’s spokesperson last week for not being even more extreme on abortion than he already is.

Ian Fury, spokesman for Governor Noem: “Governor Noem was the only Governor in America on national television defending the Dobbs decision. Where was Governor DeSantis? Hiding behind a 15-week ban.”

Not to be outdone, Mike Pence constantly brags about his role in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and insists on fellow Republicans joining his push to ban abortion in every state.

CNN: “Pence recently retweeted a statement from the anti-abortion advocacy organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America responding to Trump’s remarks in which the group urged the former president and other potential candidates to articulate an ‘ambitious consensus pro-life position’ and avoid an ‘Ostrich Strategy’ on abortion.

‘Well Said!’ Pence tweeted.”

Politico: “Pence has repeatedly touted and taken credit for the anti-abortion policies of the Trump administration, openly courting the support of anti-abortion groups as he considers a 2024 run.”

Mike Pence: “‘I’ve often said I’m pro-life… I don’t apologize for it. I’d love to see the sanctity of life restored to the center of American law in all 50 states. But I recognize that may take as long to accomplish in every state in the country as it did to overturn Roe v. Wade…’”

Former Trump administration official Nikki Haley is even calling on Congress to pass Republicans’ slate of anti-abortion legislation.

Washington Examiner: “Former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) issued an impassioned plea to Congress on Wednesday, calling on lawmakers to vote to protect infants who are born alive during abortion procedures.”

HuffPost: “But similar to other anti-choice legislation, the bill is chock-full of misinformation and creates more barriers to care. Reproductive rights advocates and physicians critical of the bill argue that it’s nearly impossible for infants to be born alive during abortions later in pregnancy.”