Richmond, VA — This week, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to support Texas’ draconian abortion restrictions, the urgency of protecting reproductive rights at the state level skyrocketed.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin has already promised his closest supporters he would go “on offense” to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood if elected, and his running mate, former Delegate Winsome Sears, shares his zeal for bringing a Texas-style abortion ban to Virginia. Sears made clear yesterday that she supports bringing Texas’ extreme abortion ban to Virginia, full stop.
See below for key reporting on this monumental development in the Virginia governor’s and lieutenant governor’s races.
The Hill: Virginia GOP lt. gov. nominee says she would support heartbeat abortion legislation
Virginia Republican lieutenant gubernatorial nominee Winsome Sears said on Friday that she would support heartbeat abortion legislation amid the fallout over a Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
"Well, I can tell you that would be me, that I would support [it]," Sears told Newsmax on Friday.
The comments come as Virginia Democrats have gone on the offensive on abortion, citing the recently passed Texas abortion law that would restrict abortion as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, when many women don’t know they’re pregnant. [...]
[Hala] Ayala touted the importance of electing a lieutenant governor in favor of abortion rights in a statement on Saturday, citing the lieutenant governor's tiebreaking role in the state Senate, which is currently split 20-20.
"As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll never stop fighting to protect our fundamental rights," Ayala said. "Unfortunately, my opponent simply can’t say the same."
Youngkin has not said definitively whether he supports the Texas law.
The Washington Post: As Texas law takes effect, abortion looms large in Virginia governor’s race
A new law banning most abortions in Texas instantly planted the divisive issue in the center of a governor’s race some 1,500 miles away in Virginia, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe had already been hammering on the subject and Republican Glenn Youngkin was doing his best to avoid it.
McAuliffe, a former governor seeking a comeback, launched two TV ads focused on abortion just days before the Texas statute took effect Wednesday. Texas pushed his efforts into overdrive. Within hours, McAuliffe was blasting the law at a business forum, in fundraising appeals and on Twitter. He followed up with a conference call with reporters the next day, where he called for enshrining Roe v. Wade in the state Constitution.
Youngkin — caught on video early in the campaign saying he would play down his opposition to abortion to woo independent voters, then go “on offense” as governor — sidestepped questions about whether he would back a Texas-style law in Virginia. [...]
Youngkin also grumbled a bit that the issue was suddenly overshadowing all others, but he embraced it in his own way, as his campaign played up a video calling McAuliffe’s abortion stance “extreme.”
But there was no hesitation on the part of Winsome Sears, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and former state delegate, who said in an interview Friday on Newsmax that she would back a Texas-style bill. “I would support that,” she said. “When did it become the wrong thing for us to support the babies in the womb?”