Youngkin: Virginians Want Fewer Abortions, Not More
On Wednesday, February 1, thousands of Virginians from across the state swarmed on the capital city of Richmond to demonstrate their passionate desire to protect their state’s littlest citizens from abortion. After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the historic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, pro-life Americans are increasingly taking to their state capitols to advocate for pro-life legislation defending the unborn.
Notably, pro-life Virginians were joined by their governor, Republican Glenn Youngkin, who’s made local history as the first governor in Virginia to participate in the state March for Life. Youngkin told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch” that his attendance at the VA March for Life was, “making a statement that it’s an important issue.” He continued, “You know, Virginia has elected a pro-life governor, and there’s a moment to stand up for what you believe. And I was very, very honored to be able to join these thousands of Virginians today.”
Last week, Democrat members of Virginia’s General Assembly rejected multiple pro-life bills — including a commonsense protection for children beginning at 15 weeks gestation, when unborn babies are definitively capable of feeling pain. In a post-Roe landscape, where over half of the states have laws on the books to protect unborn children at some point during pregnancy, Virginia currently remains in the minority alongside states like California; in these extreme states, children can be killed at any point in pregnancy. A 15-week protection for the unborn is a floor, not a ceiling, of reasonable pro-life legislation for any state.
“We believed that we could bring people together around a bill that would protect life when a child can feel pain at 15 weeks. And I’m disappointed that it hasn’t progressed in our Senate. Democrats, I think, are doing a true disservice to Virginians and not listening to them — because what’s clear is Virginians want fewer abortions, not more,” he insisted.
It is significant to note that the baseline pro-life legislation championed by Youngkin has also faced opposition from fellow Republicans within the state legislature. Republican Delegate Rob Bell, who serves as chair of the House Courts of Justice Committee, cited fellow GOP members being “scared to death to go on the record against women, against choice in an election year” as the reason why he will not docket any pro-life bills.
It is shameful that, after a nearly 50 year battle to rid America of the tyranny of Roe v. Wade, cowardly Republican legislators in 2023 would refuse to honor those faithful efforts by moving forward with support for even bare minimum pro-life legislation. Self-seeking Republicans ought to think through their politically-motivated willingness to deviate from the wishes of both the party base and leadership. Just days ago, the Republican National Committee doubled down on the life issue with a resolution urging both legislators and candidates to stand firm for the pro-life cause.
After all — what’s the use of Republican legislators who neglect to champion the values of the party platform? While not every campaign needs to be run solely on pro-life messaging, Republicans elected to office bear an absolute responsibility — indeed, an obligation — to pass the best pro-life laws possible in their unique jurisdiction.
Thankfully, pro-life Republicans like Governor Youngkin are refusing to back down from the charge to defend the right to life of all their constituents — both born, and unborn. If the turnout at the Virginia March for Life is any indication, the pro-life movement in Virginia is ready to fight until all children are protected beginning at conception.
Joy Stockbauer is a correspondent for The Washington Stand.