May 5, 2022 News & Press Releases

Governor Youngkin’s Secretary of Health and His Anti-Abortion Record

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA –After the report on the Supreme Court’s pending decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Governor Youngkin’s reassertion of his anti-abortion position and his commitment to “go on offense” on abortion, it is important to highlight Governor Youngkin’s Secretary of Health John Littel’s alarming openness to dismantling abortion safeguards in Virginia.

In his confirmation hearing, Littel refused to give a straight answer when asked whether he will use the Department of Health’s regulatory powers to dismantle major abortion safeguards like those protecting Virginia patients and health providers from discriminatory policies against abortion. He struggled to dodge the question from Del. Sally Hudson during a House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee hearing: “One thing I think that we’re going to be looking at is regulatory rules — making sure that they are in the right place.”

Littel was previously a lawyer for the Heritage Foundation, an organization dedicated to implementing an extreme far-right agenda specifically through the courts. The Heritage Foundation advocates for reversing long standing Constitutional precedents and dismantling critical rights in Roe v. Wade and other cases such as Obergefell v. Hodges, which established marriage equality.

“The Youngkin administration is filled with anti-abortion extremists who will jump at that chance to criminalize abortion in the Commonwealth,” said DPVA Spokesperson Gianni Snidle. “From the Secretary of Health to the Governor himself, their far-right records show that they will undoubtedly launch new attacks on a woman’s right to choose and Virginians should be concerned. Democrats, as we always have, will fight every attempt to restrict a Virginians' right to an abortion.”