Local lawmakers react to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s push to ban abortions after 15 weeks

Gov. Youngkin has tapped four Republican lawmakers to draft the new legislation

The legislation would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother's life is at risk.

VIRGINIA – Now that Roe v. Wade is no longer the law of the land, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has tapped four Republican lawmakers to draft new legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy: Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Delegate Margaret Ransone, plus local lawmakers Delegate Kathy Byron and Senator Steve Newman.

“Roe is just terrible law and I think the Supreme Court got it right this time,” said Newman.

The legislation would include exceptions in cases of rape, incest and if a mother’s life is at risk.

“A 15-week bill is a pain bill where a child can feel pain. And to me, that is just the very minimum we should do. I support, of course, life at conception, would be glad to support those bills, but the governor’s put forward a bill that has a good chance of passing, I think,” said Newman.

10 News reached out to other Virginia lawmakers about the possible legislation.

Republican Sen. Mark Peake said the 15-week ban doesn’t go far enough.

“As long as Democrats are in charge of the State Senate, it’s going to be difficult to get much done,” said Peake.

Democratic Sen. Creigh Deeds doubts this type of bill would pass.

“This governor will introduce legislation,” said Deeds, “and I don’t think it will become law.”

Democratic Del. Sally Hudson said even under current Virginia law, women may still have trouble accessing care.

“Fewer than 10 percent of our cities and counties actually have a clinic that can provide abortions in their own borders and so most people have to travel to get the care they need, which is why telemedicine abortion has turned out to be a very important part of making that care really accessible for a lot of people,” said Hudson.

Newman said the new legislation would be proposed in January during the next General Assembly session.

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