Virginia is the only southern state that has not passed some restrictions on abortion-on-demand after Roe v. Wade was overturned.
But that could change next year.
Because after some surprising results, Virginia could become the new abortion battleground.
Virginia is in the midst of an election year with the entire state House and Senate up for grabs.
And they just finished their Primaries to see who will be on the ballot this November.
The south’s abortion tourism state
Virginia’s state slogan is “Virginia is for Lovers.”
But some are saying it should be changed to “Virginia is for abortion lovers.”
That’s because while every other southern state has passed at least some restrictions on the life ending procedure, Virginia has done nothing.
This has made the Old Dominion THE abortion tourist destination in the southeast.
Most pundits and Pro-Life leaders were surprised that, after Glenn Youngkin took the Governor’s mansion and the GOP took the state house two years ago, they didn’t even try to move Pro-Life bills.
They claimed it was because they would just be killed in the Senate anyway.
But that didn’t stop the GOP from passing other legislation that they knew would die in the Democrat-controlled State Senate.
And now, after the nomination battles are over, many believe the GOP is on the road to taking control of the Senate while also keeping control in the House.
Pro-Life claims to be tested
Youngkin has claimed to be staunchly Pro-Life, but his actions tell quite another story.
After being elected he changed course and began floating the idea of a very weak 15-week ban, with exceptions.
The ban he proposed would only affect around 6% of all abortions.
Then Youngkin sent his minions to the legislature to make sure no one introduced meaningful Pro-Life legislation.
He even sent a leader of a supposedly Pro-Life organization to stop one Delegate from introducing a rock-solid, life-saving Life at Conception Act.
And in the recent primaries, Youngkin endorsed against almost all the solid Pro-Life candidates in favor of a group of moderates.
But his plan may have backfired.
Now, should the GOP take control of both Houses there will be a major push by Pro-Life activists to hold Youngkin and the nominees he supported, who all claim to be Pro-Life, accountable.
Already at least two members of the legislature have said they will introduce a Life at Conception Act.
That is likely to cause a Pro-Life showdown in the state that has become the worst in the south for protecting innocent life.
The most liberal abortion laws in the south
Virginia’s abortion laws are among the more liberal in the country, and the worst in the south.
Abortion is allowed in Virginia until 26 weeks.
“If you zoom into the south specifically, essentially all our states here in the southern region have passed legislation that protects the unborn and that is from a gestational perspective of either 12 weeks, heartbeat, or sooner,” said Caitlin Connors, Southern Regional Director of SBA Pro-Life America.
North Carolina’s new ban after 12 weeks of pregnancy takes effect July 1.
And Republican lawmakers in South Carolina are pushing to prohibit abortions after six weeks.
If they succeed, Virginia will be the only southeastern state to allow abortion after the first trimester.
“Texas completely banning abortion, I think that is moving things in the right direction,” said Abby Johnson, CEO of And Then There Were None Ministries.
Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana have near-total bans in place.
And Florida and Georgia have passed laws banning the procedure after six weeks, once the unborn baby’s unique heartbeat can be detected.
With access to the procedure limited in these states, there’s concern on both sides that Virginia will become an abortion destination.
But Virginia may soon strengthen its laws too if Republicans win the State Senate this November.
Youngkin, who supports a 15-week ban, has said he’s willing to sign other Pro-Life legislation sent to his desk.
We won’t know until after November, and after Youngkin decides if he will remain Pro-Life as he mulls a late entry into the 2024 GOP Presidential race.
Pro-Life Press will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.