Washington, D.C. — The Republican candidate for Virginia governor, Glenn Youngkin, appeared in a video yesterday admitting he has not fully disclosed his position toward abortion rights during the campaign because “as a campaign topic, sadly, that in fact won’t win my independent votes that I have to get.” Youngkin also added he was “staunchly, unabashedly pro-life,” and that “we got to stop using taxpayer money for abortions.” According to multiple media reports, the video was shot at a campaign event last month. In response, Jamille Fields Allsbrook, director of women’s health and rights with the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, issued the following statement:
Youngkin’s lack of transparency with Virginia voters is unbelievable, but, in particular, his impudence with Virginia women is unacceptable. Virginians deserve full transparency on Youngkin’s position on reproductive rights, not only because he is hiding it to get independent voters but most of all because of the draconian restrictions women have faced in the state. The fact that Youngkin has now conceded his position behind closed doors but does not even mention it on his website will not be acceptable to voters.
Virginians deserve to know specific answers to specific questions. We are wondering whether, if elected, Youngkin would overturn Virginia’s Reproductive Health Protection Act (RHPA), which took effect in July. This law removed restrictions to abortion, such as mandatory ultrasounds and a 24-hour waiting period, expanding access to abortion care. It has eliminated unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers, such as regulations on the number and width of parking spaces, and instead expanded which providers can provide abortion care in the first trimester to include nurse practitioners. Also, we are wondering if Youngkin would limit the ability of women, young people, and people with low incomes to access critical preventive care, such as cervical cancer screenings and contraceptives, from Planned Parenthood and other family planning providers in the state. Youngkin is asking Virginia women to entrust him with their bodies and their lives. The least he can give in return is straight answers to these questions.
Finally, policymakers should take action to proactively ensure that access to abortion care is a reality for all—through insurance coverage, access to medication abortion, and more—to fulfill the promise of Roe v. Wade. We urge Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would prohibit laws that ban abortion before viability and that impose medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion care. This would help ensure that women and birthing people can exercise their abortion rights.
- “State Actions Undermining Abortion Rights in 2020” by Nora Ellmann (CAP)
- “A Proactive Abortion Agenda: Federal and State Policies To Protect and Expand Access” by Jamille Fields Allsbrook and Nora Ellmann (CAP)
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.