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Va. lawmakers weigh in on SCOTUS draft, Center for Politics offers impact on elections

Va. lawmakers weigh in on SCOTUS draft, Center for Politics offers impact on elections
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 3:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - An initial draft of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s abortion opinion would see Roe v. Wade being overturn. If it does, it would fall on individual states to make the decision on what is allowed when it comes to abortions.

In Virginia, overturning Roe v. Wade could have long term impacts.

“It is the draft opinion of the court, that doesn’t guarantee it will be the final decision or that the wording won’t change but I think people can pretty much write Roe v Wade off the books,” Professor Larry Sabato with the University of Virginia Center for Politics said. “It’s going to have a major impact all across the country, and it will in Virginia, even though we don’t have statewide elections this year, but we’ll have individual House elections.”

Sabato says any changes to the law will have a rolling effect: “I don’t think it will change Virginia because Democrats have a one-seat majority in the State Senate, but that can easily disappear in 2023 when the next state Senate elections are scheduled,” he said.

“Virginians need to know that their right to abortion is protected in our state laws. So no matter what the Supreme Court does, abortion will remain legal in Virginia for now,” 57th District Delegate Sally Hudson (D) said.

“I think exactly what this leak represents is a moment where it’s creating, it’s they’re trying to create chaos and put pressure on public officials and elected officials,” Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) said, referring to those who leaked the opinion.

The governor does not want to speculate on what Virginia will do if the law is reversed: “That state decision is one that we’re gonna have to work with our legislature on what we do, and as I said, I think that there’s common ground on this but we’re not going to be able to really decide what we’re going to do until we see this decision go final,” Younkin said.

In a full statement Gov. Youngkin said:

“I am in utter disbelief that the sacred confidentiality of the Supreme Court would be violated in this manner. Sadly, this leak was done in order to cause chaos and to put pressure on justices and elected officials. It’s premature to speculate on what the Supreme Court’s decision will be; however, we learned from listening to Virginians over the last year that we have much common ground on this issue. I am pro-life, and I have been very clear about that since the day I launched my campaign. While we wait for the final June decision, we will be focused on lowering taxes for Virginians, funding education and law enforcement because we need to get a budget passed.”

U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine say they will push to protect women’s rights.

Sen. Warner (D) says abortion care is health care, and he’ll keep fighting for that in the Senate.

Sen. Kaine (D) says Congress should pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify the protections in Roe v. Wade as soon as possible.

7th District Representative Abigail Spanberger (D) also released a statement:

“The United States of America should not be a country where women are dying from back-alley abortions. This is a profoundly personal issue with real consequences for the lives of American women. Green-lighting states to ban abortion in all cases — including rape or incest — would only endanger the lives of those grappling with the hardest decision of their lives. These harrowing decisions should remain between a woman, her family, and her doctor.

“This leaked draft Supreme Court opinion is poised to erase a woman’s right to privacy and reproductive healthcare that has been settled law for nearly a half century. The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to codify Roe v. Wade. The U.S. Senate needs to follow suit and pass this bill.”

5th District Representative Bob Good (R) statement said:

“This is a desperate attempt by those on the left who wish to exert influence on public opinion and to put pressure on the Supreme Court Justices who apparently voted to strike down Roe v. Wade. The leak itself, while wrong, is merely a distraction from the life and death issue at hand. It is undeniable that Roe v. Wade is a wrongly-decided stain on our nation’s history that led to the death of more than 60 million of our fellow Americans. My hope and prayer is that the Supreme Court will remain focused on their oath to the Constitution and overturn both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”

58th District Delegate Rob Bell (R) said he is not commenting on the leak.

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