Virginia’s legislative elections could seal fate of 15-week abortion ban proposal

“It’s a commonsense position that most Virginians support too,” it continues. “But Virginia Democrats support no limits on abortion.”

Alternatively, a 30-second advertisement from the House Democratic Caucus accuses Republicans of wanting to outlaw abortion. 

“Defunding Planned Parenthood, a total abortion ban [with] no exceptions, women and doctors in jail,” the advertisement claims. “You don’t have to look far to know where MAGA Republicans want to take Virginia. Just look [at] what’s happening around us.”

Current laws in Virginia allow abortion up to the end of the 26th week of pregnancy, which is one of the most permissive policies in the country. In 2020, former Gov. Ralph Northam signed bills that ended a 24-hour waiting period for abortions and the mandatory pre-abortion ultrasound, which had been law for decades. 

Following the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the newly elected Youngkin sought to work with lawmakers to establish some limits on abortion, but all efforts were stifled in Senate committees. This included a proposed 15-week ban and a proposed ban at the point of viability, which all Education and Health Committee Democrats opposed. Republican Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant also opposed the 15-week ban but supported the ban at the point of viability, which occurs around 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Small number of competitive districts will determine control

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