September 15, 2022 News & Press Releases

WHAT VIRGINIANS ARE READING: Jen Kiggans Promises To Support Nationwide Abortion Ban

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA – In case you missed it, in a statement to the Virginia Scope, yesterday Jen Kiggans promised she would support a nationwide federal abortion ban in Congress.

This comes after Kiggans said the issue of abortion is just a “shiny object,” claiming that the issue of abortion isn’t an issue “voters really care about,” and celebrated the overturning of Roe v Wade – vowing to push for more abortion restrictions in Congress.

As a state Senator, Kiggans voted for a vile anti-abortion amendment aimed to restrict crucial funds for reproductive health care that will disproportionately impact low-income Virginians, promoted false claims about “infanticide,” and consistently voted against legislation to expand access to reproductive health care. 


Virginia Scope: The Kiggans campaign implies she would support a 15-week ban on abortion

  • Democrats are increasing pressure on VA-02 Republican nominee Jen Kiggans after Republicans in Congress introduced legislation to ban abortion across the country at 15 weeks. A statement from the Kiggans campaign implied that if she were to be elected, she would support a 15-week ban.
  • In the past, Kiggans has said that it is a state issue, not a federal one, as a way to deflect away the question and steer away from Democratic attacks calling her an extremist. Kiggans is running against two-term Rep. Elaine Luria (D) this November.
  • But that hasn’t stopped Democrats from pushing Kiggans for a response on her position. “Jen Kiggans is trying to run from and confuse voters about her record on abortion because she knows it will be toxic for her in November,” DCCC spokesperson Monica Robinson said Wednesday. “The truth is that Kiggans said in her own words that she is ‘100%, unapologetically pro-life’ and will be a rubber stamp for the Republican Party’s abortion bans in Congress.”
  • The Kiggans campaign responded by saying she supports common sense restrictions and implied that a 15-week ban would fall under that umbrella. “The vast majority of Virginians – and Americans – support common-sense restrictions on abortion such as protecting babies from 15 weeks on.”
  • Luria called out her opponent while not responding to the more extreme parts of the Kiggans campaign’s statement. “After weeks of lying, Jen Kiggans’ campaign confirmed today that she would support a national abortion ban,” Luria said in a statement Wednesday. “She is too extreme for Coastal Virginia.”

13 News Now: Kiggans sends mixed message on Republican-proposed federal abortion ban after 15 weeks

  • Republican State Sen. Jen Kiggans, who is running for a competitive House seat against Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria, suggested she supports an abortion ban after 15 weeks into a pregnancy. 
  • The statement aligns with the goal of Graham's bill, which would federally prohibit the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy with rare exceptions. 
  • Gianni Snidle, a spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Virginia, criticized the statement from Kiggans' campaign, using "extremist" language.
  • “Jen Kiggans is an anti-abortion extremist. Full stop," Snidle said. "After attempting to hide and lie about her anti-abortion agenda, Kiggans has finally told Coastal Virginians the truth. Her unwavering support of a nationwide federal abortion ban is a danger to women and out of touch with Coastal Virginians."
  • After the statement came out, Luria said in a tweet, "She is too extreme for Coastal Virginia."
  • "Just like Virginia's 2nd District, that was a district that Joe Biden only carried by two points," Coleman said. "Abortion seemed to be a winning message for Democrats."
  • Kiggans has pushed back on the abortion issue, calling it a distraction from economic issues she thinks voters care more about.
  • "[The Democrats are] trying to distract with these shiny objects, like the abortion issue, and they're doing it throughout the country, and especially to women candidates that are running," Kiggans told Reid. 
  • Her comments on the abortion issue's importance contradict a recent poll from Roanoke College, which found that a majority of Virginians support some form of abortion rights.
  • In the poll conducted between Aug. 7 and 16, 40% of Virginians said abortion should be legal under all circumstances, 48% said it should be legal under some circumstances and just 10% wanted a total ban.
  • In a statement following Kiggans' Sept. 8 interview, Luria criticized Kiggans' use of the term "shiny objects."
  • “Abortion is a deeply personal decision for women in Coastal Virginia and throughout the country," Luria said. "A nurse should know that the right to choose is not a ‘shiny object,’ and Jen Kiggans’ dismissive comments this morning are insulting to women everywhere."
  • She continued: "Jen made clear today that politicians like her should have no place in banning reproductive health care for women, and statements like this are a reminder that Virginians can’t trust her to protect our rights and freedoms."

The Washington Post: Kiggans talks up 15-week abortion ban but won’t say if she’d vote for it

  • State Sen. Jen A. Kiggans […] called a national ban on abortion after 15 weeks a “common-sense” restriction.
  • Asked to clarify whether, if elected, she would vote for the 15-week ban put forth by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and House Republicans on Tuesday, Kiggans’s campaign spokesman said in a statement Wednesday to The Washington Post: “The vast majority of Virginians — and Americans — support common-sense restrictions on abortion such as protecting babies from 15 weeks on.” The statement was first reported by Virginia Scope.
  • The spokesman did not respond to follow-up questions seeking clarity on how Kiggans would vote on the 15-week ban if elected. 
  • The House and Senate legislation has complicated the messaging on abortion for Republicans running in moderate districts like Virginia’s 2nd, especially as Democrats seize on abortion as a central issue in the midterm elections. Kiggans applauded the overturning of Roe v. Wade but maintained that she believed the ruling meant abortion policy would be left with the states, repeating the sentiment in a recent interview with The Post. Now, Graham’s and Rep. Christopher H. Smith’s (R-N.J.) legislation changes that, ensuring a debate on national abortion legislation and no doubt leaving voters on both sides wanting to know where their representative or candidate stands.
  • Graham introduced the legislation Tuesday flanked by representatives of the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group that endorsed Kiggans, and said that if Republicans take control of Congress he expects that they would push for a floor vote on the legislation.
  • In the absence of clarity, Democrats interpreted Kiggans’s statement as “promising to support a nationwide federal abortion ban.”
  • “Jen Kiggans is an anti-abortion extremist. Full stop,” Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker said in a statement. “After attempting to hide and lie about her anti-abortion agenda, Kiggans has finally told Coastal Virginians the truth. Her unwavering support of a nationwide federal abortion ban is a danger to women and out of touch with Coastal Virginians.”
  • In a statement, Luria echoed Swecker and said “politicians like Jen should have no place in a woman’s right to choose. Her abortion extremism threatens the health of women across the country, and Jen is too dangerous for Coastal Virginia.”