(Updated at 1 p.m.) The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in a landmark decision that will effectively ban abortion in more than a dozen states.
Virginia is not one of the states with so-called “trigger laws” that will go into effect as a result of the decision, though Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has expressed support for banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The decision will also not immediately impact the legality of abortion in neighboring D.C. and Maryland.
Youngkin — who was in Arlington earlier today for a roundtable with Northern Virginia business leaders — issued a statement after the decision calling for the state legislature to find “a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children” ahead of its next session in January 2023.
The Washington Post reported late Friday morning that Youngkin now says he will seek an abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Following word of the decision, local and statewide elected officials and groups have started reacting to the news.
From Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.):
Today's ruling from a right wing Supreme Court majority is a dark moment for America.
From the dissent, "It says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of."
Republicans will use this decision to criminalize essential health care for women.
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) June 24, 2022
I wish I could tell you I have a simple plan to fix this right away, but the honest truth is there are no quick or easy solutions; if there were we would have done them already.
But this ruling cannot and will not be the last word — we WILL fight for bodily autonomy and freedom. https://t.co/zwjhbBHRGK
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) June 24, 2022
From Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.):
This decision jeopardizes the health and autonomy of millions of American women and turns back the clock on nearly 50 years of settled and reaffirmed law – reflecting a Court that has increasingly issued politicized rulings that undermine the fundamental rights of Americans. This decision will take control over personal health care decisions away from individuals and give it to politicians in state legislatures across the country. I am heartbroken for the generations of women who now have fewer rights than when they were born, many of whom will be forced into life-threatening or prohibitively expensive circumstances to access health care as a result of this radical decision. For them and for all Virginians and Americans, I will continue working to protect needed access to safe, legal abortion.
From Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.):
I am deeply disturbed that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, upsetting decades of precedent protecting the right of women to make fundamental personal decisions about contraception and abortion without unnecessary government interference. That’s why I’ve been engaged in efforts in the Senate to codify the basic framework of Roe v. Wade and related cases into federal law. We’re not going to give up on the fight to protect the right to choose.
From state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D):
My thoughts on the threat posed by the overturn of Roe v. Wade this morning pic.twitter.com/1gQmkm4jdB
— Adam Ebbin (@AdamEbbin) June 24, 2022
From Del. Alfonso Lopez (D):
This heartbreaking decision repealing Roe takes our nation backwards-& puts other rights at risk incl. the right to contraception & same-sex marriage.
Virginia is still an abortion rights sanctuary. TOGETHER-we must do all we can to ensure it remains one.#EveryElectionMatters
— Alfonso Lopez (@Lopez4VA) June 24, 2022
From Gov. Youngkin:
The Supreme Court of the United States has rightfully returned power to the people and their elected representatives in the states. I’m proud to be a pro-life Governor and plan to take every action I can to protect life. The truth is, Virginians want fewer abortions, not more abortions. We can build a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb, and importantly supporting mothers and families who choose life. That’s why I’ve asked Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Senator Steve Newman, Delegate Kathy Byron and Delegate Margaret Ransone to join us in an effort to bring together legislators and advocates from across the Commonwealth on this issue to find areas where we can agree and chart the most successful path forward. I’ve asked them to do the important work needed and be prepared to introduce legislation when the General Assembly returns in January.
From Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears (R):
Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dobbs, giving power back to the states to make decisions on abortion. The court has recognized that the 1973 decision was an example of judicial and federal overreach. The important question of abortion has now been returned to statehouses across the country, in order for them to make their own policy decisions- which is exactly what the founding fathers envision when they wrote the 10th amendment to the Constitution. I applaud the Court for recognizing this wrong and having the courage to correct it. I look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly in the next legislative session on legislation that respects life.
The 10th Amendment to the Constitution says, ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’ This ruling supports this amendment.
From Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R):
Virginia Attorney General @JasonMiyaresVA on #SCOTUS ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling on #abortion rights: "Good and reasonable people can disagree on this issue but now Virginians, not federal judges, can decide its future" pic.twitter.com/Qv61fVDqbe
— Michael Pope (@MichaelLeePope) June 24, 2022
From the Arlington County Democratic Committee:
This is a difficult day when so many have lost fundamental rights
Glenn Youngkin and Virginia Republicans are celebrating
They now have the chance to decide what Virginians do with their bodies
The only way to keep abortion safe and legal in Virginia is to elect Democrats https://t.co/J1wBhQmoSr
— Arlington Democrats (@arlingtondems) June 24, 2022
Prior to the decision being issued, the Youngkin’s office re-released a statement calling for protests to remain peaceful, particularly around the homes of the several Supreme Court justices who live in Fairfax County.
“It is imperative that protected peaceful protests don’t turn into violence or destruction after the Supreme Court’s ruling,” said the statement. “Violence is not and never will be our legacy. Virginians expect and deserve nothing less.”
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