Democrats Take Control of Virginia Legislature, Dooming Governor’s 15-Week Abortion Ban
Abortion is currently legal in Virginia through the 26th week of pregnancy, which is one of the most permissive laws in the country.
Virginia Democrats kept control of the state Senate and flipped the state House of Delegates on Tuesday in what will be a major blow to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s efforts to pass legislation that would ban abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Democrats took slim majorities in both chambers of the Legislature after winning a handful of competitive swing districts.
An effort by Youngkin and legislative Republicans to pass a 15-week abortion ban was a key focus of the rhetoric from both Republican and Democratic candidates. Democrats sought to paint Republicans as a threat to abortion access and Republicans labeled Democrats as extreme on abortion.
Democrats hailed the election victories as a defeat of Youngkin’s proposed 15-week abortion ban.
“It’s official: There will be absolutely no abortion-ban legislation sent to Glenn Youngkin’s desk for the duration of his term in office, period, as we have thwarted MAGA Republicans’ attempt to take total control of our government and our bodies,” Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said.
Abortion is currently legal in Virginia through the 26th week of pregnancy, which is one of the most permissive laws in the country. The commonwealth further liberalized its abortion laws in 2020, when former Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation that ended a 24-hour waiting period to obtain an abortion and the mandatory pre-abortion ultrasound. These had been state law for decades.