search
Sections List
American Journal News

Virginia Republicans try to cover up support for anti-abortion policies

As the 2024 battle for partisan control of the statehouse ramps up, swing-district Republicans are hiding their support for Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s unpopular abortion ban proposals.

By Josh Israel - September 07, 2023
Share
Glenn Youngkin
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks during a news conference, April 27, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

As Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin pushes to elect a GOP-controlled General Assembly that will enact his widely unpopular proposed abortion ban, candidates who are hesitant to be open about their stance on reproductive rights are being forced to answer for their positions.

Virginia is the only state in the south that does not have an abortion ban, but that could all change on Nov. 7, when voters will select all 100 delegates and all 40 senators.

Youngkin, whose term runs until January 2026, has said he “will sign happily and gleefully” any anti-abortion legislation and suggested a 15-week ban with few exceptions, but to implement his plan, the GOP needs to wrest control of the state Senate back from Democrats and maintain its narrow majority in the House of Delegates.

David Owen, candidate for Virginia House of Delegates, 57th District.
David Owen, candidate for Virginia House of Delegates 57th District. (David Owen for Delegate Facebook)

According to an August analysis by the progressive blog Blue Virginia, virtually every Republican running for Legislature across Virginia opposes abortion rights, but those running in swing districts have been opaque about their views.

David Owen, the Republican nominee for a House seat in the competitive 57th District, which includes the Richmond suburbs, notes on his website that his priority issues include education, crime, inflation, and boosting small business. He says nothing about reproductive rights. But the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on Tuesday that a surreptitiously recorded video of a recent campaign event shows Owen noting his opposition to abortion and his commitment to supporting a ban if it Republicans

“Personally, I’m pro-life, and I’m gonna have conversations with Senator Dunnavant to understand what we can do when it comes to changing the laws we have,” Owen told attendees, referring to Republican state Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant. “For us to think that it will never get to the point with the current makeup we have now, of outlawing abortion, I don’t think we’ll get there. And personally, I am pro-life, and we need to start saving some of the unborn children.”

Susanna Gibson, Owen’s Democratic opponent, responded on Wednesday by tweeting: “I have served our community as a Nurse Practitioner for over a decade. My position has always been clear: politicians have no place in the exam room. My opponent? He was caught talking about outlawing abortion. They’ll go as far as we let them.”

In August, Planned Parenthood of Virginia released audio of Republican House nominee John Stirrup, obtained by the Washington Post and similarly surreptitiously recorded in May, telling a person posing as an abortion opponent: “I would support a 100% ban. It seems like kind of the acceptable position has been about 15 weeks, but that really doesn’t save that many lives. It’s a start.” Stirrup, running in the competitive 21st District in northern Virginia, also makes no mention of abortion on his campaign issues page. His opponent, Democrat Josh Thomas, has an entire section on his own site outlining his support for women’s rights and reproductive healthcare.

Juan Pablo Segura
Juan Pablo Segura, a co-founder of Babyscripts, is running for Virginia state Senate.

In one of the most competitive Senate races, Republican Juan Pablo Segura, also omits his anti-abortion position from his campaign page. The Times-Dispatch reported in July that the 31st District nominee endorsed a 15-week ban as a “reasoned proposal.”

Youngkin, who as a 2021 gubernatorial candidate was also recorded on a hidden camera saying that he couldn’t speak openly about his views on abortion because they might drive away voters, has attempted to frame a 15-week ban as a consensus position.

According to VPM, Youngkin told reporters in May, “There seems to be substantial support across Democrats, across Republicans, men and women, for a bill that would protect life in 15 weeks.”

But polls have shown that most Virginians do not support new abortion restrictions. A survey by Washington Post-Schar School last March found that just 17% of Virginia voters and just 36% of Virginia Republicans want stricter state abortion restrictions. Thirty-four percent of voters in Virginia want to maintain current abortion laws, and 41% want them to be even less strict.

On Aug. 21, the Republican firm Founders Insight released a poll showing that 38% of Virginians want to keep the current abortion law and 16% more want no restrictions whatsoever.

Jamie Lockhart, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, said in a press release on Wednesday:

It’s like déjà vu all over again this election season in Virginia with one extreme Republican candidate after another being caught on tape revealing their dastardly plans for Virginians – this time, to outlaw abortion. It cannot be any clearer that abortion is on the ballot and that’s why Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia proudly endorsed Susanna Gibson. We know she will fight against any attempt to ban abortion and will represent the people of HD 57 well. We simply cannot afford to let David Owen and Siobhan Dunnavant be the votes that deliver an abortion ban to Governor Glenn Youngkin to sign.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Read More
AJ News
Latest
Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

By Jesse Valentine - June 11, 2024
Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

By Jesse Valentine - June 10, 2024
Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

By Jesse Valentine - June 06, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
‘We need something that works’: Activists call for more resources for gun violence prevention

‘We need something that works’: Activists call for more resources for gun violence prevention

By Lucy Valeski, Michigan Advance - June 07, 2024
‘Democracy begins with each of us,’ Biden says at site of D-Day invasion in Normandy

‘Democracy begins with each of us,’ Biden says at site of D-Day invasion in Normandy

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - June 07, 2024
Nessel, House LGBTQ+ Caucus warn that Trump and GOP endanger hard-fought rights 

Nessel, House LGBTQ+ Caucus warn that Trump and GOP endanger hard-fought rights 

By Jon King, Michigan Advance - June 06, 2024
Parents sue Florida Board of Education over book ban policy

Parents sue Florida Board of Education over book ban policy

By Mitch Perry, Florida Phoenix - June 06, 2024