August 15, 2023 News & Press Releases

NEWS SUMMARY: Battle For Abortion Rights Front and Center in 2023 Elections

by Democratic Party of Virginia

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia’s 2023 elections are the next referendum on abortion rights. With all 40 State Senators and all 100 State Delegates on the ballot in November, a handful of critical state legislative races will determine whether extreme MAGA Republicans are able to take full control and ban abortion rights in Virginia.

Virginia Republicans have tried multiple times to pass an extreme abortion ban and the only thing that has stopped them is a narrow one-seat Democratic majority in the Virginia State Senate. Virginia is now the only Southern State remaining where abortion rights haven’t been restricted since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. You can read a new memo from The Majority Project available here.

People are starting to notice.

POLITICO: Virginia Dems lost big in 2021. Can abortion rights messaging change their fate

  • “But Democrats in the ‘next abortion battleground’ think this year will be a different story. [...] With a split legislature, Youngkin has faced roadblocks in passing some of his top priorities — including a proposed 15-week abortion ban. Democrats in the state Senate stymied that effort earlier this year, and continue to warn of a repeat attempt from Republicans. (Democrats hold a slim majority in the state Senate, and the GOP has narrow control of the state House.)”

Virginian Pilot Editorial: Virginia voters will soon determine the commonwealth’s course on abortion

  • "The commonwealth’s neighbors with Republican legislatures moved aggressively in the wake of Dobbs to tighten their restrictions. [...] Commonwealth Republicans have made no secret that, if given control of the General Assembly, they would work with Gov. Glenn Youngkin to impose similar restrictions here."

Washington Post: Recordings show Va. swing district candidate seeks ‘total ban’ on abortion

  • “‘I would support a 100 percent ban,’ Stirrup told a woman who had approached him after a Republican primary debate May 18, according to a recording obtained by The Washington Post. In another recording, made June 20, he told a man he met outside a polling place that ‘I’d like to see, you know, [a] total ban.’”

  • “Made surreptitiously by two abortion rights supporters posing as abortion foes, the recordings seem intended to pin Stirrup down on an issue that Republicans in some swing districts would like to sidestep but Democrats hope to make a rallying cry in Nov. 7 General Assembly elections.”

  • With control of both chambers up for grabs, about a dozen highly competitive races, including this one in part of Prince William County, will end up determining whether Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has the political muscle next year to roll back abortion rights in Virginia — the only Southern state that has not tightened restrictions on the procedure since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last year.”

WRIC: Political analyst says candidate caught on tape advocating for ‘total ban’ on abortion is a disaster for Republicans

  • “‘This is a big disaster for Republicans not just in that district, but across the state,’ Rich Meagher, 8News Political Analyst and political science professor at Randolph-Macon College, said. Meagher says Stirrup’s comments present a challenge for Republicans because restricting abortion rights isn’t popular in Virginia.”