Washington — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin reiterated Sunday that he is in favor of a state ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, continuing to call on legislators to enact new restrictions on the procedure after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“The Supreme Court’s decision, I agree with — that this is a decision for states to make by elected officials, by the citizens of Virginia,” Youngkin said on “Face the Nation.” “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 announced his intention to pursue a 15-week ban shortly after the high court’s ruling last month, The Washington Post reported at the time. He said Sunday that “the real value of the Supreme Court’s decision” lies in each state now having the ability to determine its own abortion laws.
He acknowledged the likelihood that any new abortion measures will require compromise with Democrats, who control the state senate.
“I believe that what my job is, is to get something done,” Youngkin said. “And I believe we can get a 15-week pain threshold bill done in Virginia for the first time.”
The governor noted that he supports “exceptions that are made in the case of rape and incest and when the life of the mother is truly at risk.”
Some Republicans in the state, however, are pushing for a full ban on abortion. At a rally in Richmond on Saturday, GOP Rep. Bob Good told a crowd that “Republicans should not be negotiating the timeline on when abortion should be permitted or when abortion is OK or when it’s OK to take life in the womb,” according to WTVR.
Youngkin was elected last November and made no secret of his opposition to abortion rights. Asked on Sunday whether he would ever support a full abortion ban, Youngkin again pointed to the political dynamic in his state.
“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,” the governor said. “And 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.”
Abortion access has not changed in Virginia since the Supreme Court’s decision, which concerned a Mississippi law that banned the procedure after about 15 weeks, before many women realize they are pregnant. The court’s ruling led to a wave of new abortion restrictions, including in more than a dozen states with so-called “trigger bans” that outlawed the procedure at various stages of pregnancy once Roe was struck down. Many of those laws and other restrictions are being challenged in state courts across the country.
Youngkin said he has “really reflected on my own faith, in my beliefs” since the Supreme Court’s ruling, and said it represents “a moment 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,” he said. “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.”