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Virginia state Senate candidate received $131,500 from anti-abortion lawmakers

Republican nominee Juan Pablo Segura makes no mention of his support for an abortion ban on his campaign website.

By Josh Israel - October 10, 2023
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Juan Pablo Segura
Juan Pablo Segura, a co-founder of Babyscripts, is running for Virginia state Senate.

Despite a lengthy record of opposing abortion rights, Republican Virginia state Senate nominee Juan Pablo Segura completely omits any mention of the issue on his campaign website. Nevertheless, he has attracted large sums of campaign donations from ardently anti-abortion Republicans in the Legislature.

Since declaring his candidacy in January, Segura has received $96,500 in donations from current Republican state senators who backed a near total abortion ban in 2023. He took another $35,000 from a Senate co-sponsor of a notorious 2012 bill that would have required patients to undergo an invasive and medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound before having an abortion in the commonwealth.

Segura is running in the 31st Senate District, a newly redistricted Northern Virginia seat that contains portions of Loudoun and Fauquier counties. He faces Democratic nominee Russet Perry, whose campaign website says she “believes in protecting a woman’s right to make decisions about her own reproductive care.”

For the past two years, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the narrow Republican majority in the House of Delegates have repeatedly tried to ban or further restrict abortion in the last Southern state where the procedure is legal. Youngkin has pushed a 15-week ban and said in 2022, “Any bill that comes to my desk I will sign happily and gleefully in order to protect life.” These efforts have been stymied in the Senate, where Democrats hold a small majority.

All 40 seats in the Virginia Senate and all 100 House seats will be determined in this year’s elections, which are already underway and will end Nov. 7. The 31st District race could determine control of the Senate.

Segura backed Youngkin’s 15-week ban, calling it a “reasoned proposal,” according to a July Richmond Times-Dispatch report. But many Republicans lawmakers have made it clear they want to go even further than that.

In January, the Senate Education and Health Committee blocked a bill sponsored by Senate Republicans that would have made it a felony to perform an abortion unless it was “to save the life of the mother,” with exceptions only for rape and incest within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

According to campaign finance data from the Virginia Public Access Project, sponsors of the bill have invested heavily in electing Segura: Mark Obenshain gave him $36,000, Mark Peake gave $17,500, T. Travis Hackworth gave $5,000, Stephen Newman gave $5,000, and Bill Stanley gave $5,000.

Peake told Roanoke TV station WSLS in January that he supports Youngkin’s 15-week ban proposal, but added: “Most of us on the Republican side would prefer a bill that bans abortions much earlier. Some talk about the pain threshold, some from conception.”

Two more Republicans who voted to support the ban in committee have also funded Segura; he received $27,500 from Todd Pillion and $500 from John Cosgrove.

Sen. Ryan McDogule, whose campaign issues page says: “Ryan will always defend the lives of the unborn. He recently voted against budget proposals that would have given more money to Planned Parenthood and constantly stands up for pro-life bills in the legislature,” angered voters with his 2012 co-sponsorship of the bill mandating transvaginal ultrasounds. He has given Segura $35,000 to date.

Like Segura, several other Virginia Republicans running in competitive districts currently make no mention of their support for abortion bans on their campaign websites.

In September, a spokesperson for Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC falsely accused Democrats of “overt falsehoods and flagrant fearmongering” for warning that reproductive rights are at stake.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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