Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s first item on the menu should Republicans win control of the state: nixing abortion.
“To many voters, the topic of abortion is so important, so we have been completely straightforward and clear. I will back a bill to protect life,” Youngkin told Fox News on Tuesday.
Youngkin’s proposal will cut off access to abortion at 15 weeks, with exceptions for victims of rape and incest as well as people whose pregnancies put them at risk of death. Should that happen, Virginia would join 21 states that passed extreme abortion bans after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year.
Current Virginia law bans abortion at 26 weeks.
“It’s one of the most divisive topics across Virginia,” Youngkin told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this week.
“I think this is a choice between no limits and reasonable limits, and I think this is one where Virginians come together around reasonableness,” Youngkin said.
Virginia is a hotly contested battleground at the moment, with both Republicans and Democrats fighting for a total takeover of the state legislature in Tuesday’s election. Currently, Republicans hold a very narrow, two-member majority in the House of Delegates, while Democrats hold the Senate. Should Republicans win, Youngkin will gain the power to enact a completely conservative agenda that would almost definitely raise his national profile and even open up a long-shot bid at the White House.
Other prospective policies under the conservative governor’s belt include tax cuts, climate deregulation, stricter criminal justice laws, and the rollback of gender-affirming policies in schools.
All 140 seats in the general assembly are on Tuesday’s ballot.