RICHMOND, VA — Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This opinion overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision from 1973 that ensured a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion without excessive government restriction. As a result of today’s decision, states across the nation will be free to ban or even criminalize abortions and other reproductive health care, but due to Democratic efforts in 2020 and 2021, abortion access in Virginia will continue.
House Democratic Leader Don Scott issued the following statement in response: “This is a day we have long been expecting yet still hoped would never come. I stand with all those across the Commonwealth who are experiencing grief, anger, and fear today. Last session, Glenn Youngkin’s party tried to ban abortion outright in Virginia. Just last week, the governor himself sent us a budget amendment that would have prevented low-income women from accessing abortion even with the most severe fetal diagnoses. This is what we’re up against. Here’s the good news: Thanks to the work of advocates and Virginia Democrats over the last few years, reproductive rights here in the Commonwealth are more protected than ever. The Supreme Court’s decision does nothing to change the fact that, right now, abortion remains safe and legal in Virginia. The majority of Virginians believe it should stay that way. That’s why House Democrats are committed to sending the people of Virginia a constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion rights in the Constitution. Republicans blocked our efforts to introduce that legislation last week, voting to keep control over Virginians’ bodies consolidated in the hands of Glenn Youngkin and his associates in the General Assembly. The fight is far from over. We won’t stop working to protect bodily autonomy and access to reproductive health care for all Virginians.”
House Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring: “House Democrats stand with a majority of Virginians who believe in every person’s right to bodily autonomy. We passed the Reproductive Health Protection Act in 2020 and, as a result, abortion is still legal and accessible in Virginia. Today, we recommit to fighting every day to keep it that way.
The decision released today is devastating but while we are disappointed, we are not surprised – Republicans have been working toward this goal for decades with increased attacks in recent years. We know that some Republicans, like Governor Youngkin, may try to hide their extreme positions on abortion and other reproductive health care; they know how unpopular those positions are in Virginia. But we won’t let them hide – we know it is our responsibility to call them out for any attempt they make to limit a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”