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Congressman calls for abortion ban in Virginia: 'Republicans should not be negotiating'

Virginia's 5th District Congressman Bob Good
Posted at 6:10 PM, Jul 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-10 12:20:51-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Anti-abortion supporters rallied at the Virginia State Capitol Saturday afternoon to call on state lawmakers to limit access to abortion in the Commonwealth.

More than 100 people turned out for the rally organized by Virginia's 5th District Congressman Bob Good in a push for a complete ban on abortions in Virginia.

Additionally, Good and supporters criticized Republicans looking to compromise on the issue as it is now up to states to decide after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

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RELATED: Richmond city council votes to protect abortion rights

While some states had so-called trigger laws or pre-Roe laws on the books that have begun to restrict access or are working their way through the courts, access in Virginia has not changed.

When Democrats had full control on lawmaking abilities, they expanded access in 2020. Abortion remains legal in Virginia through the second trimester, and in some cases in the third.

However, Republicans now control two of the three levers of power: the House and Governor's mansion. Gov. Glenn Youngkin has tasked four Republican lawmakers with coming up with legislation that could get bipartisan consensus, since the Senate is in Democrat hands with a 21 to 19 majority.

Youngkin's spokesperson has said the governor told them to prioritize when a fetus begins to feel pain, including a 15-week threshold. But Youngkin acknowledged that 20-weeks might be needed for a compromise.

"Republicans should not be negotiating the timeline on when abortion should be permitted or when abortion is OK or when it's OK to take life in the womb," Good said. "Republicans ought to stand openly, boldly, and unashamedly for life from conception and to protect all life in the womb."

Some Republican state lawmakers at the rally promised legislation and asked Youngkin for executive actions like directing government grants and business away from groups that support abortion access.

"Let's make sure that he understands that he can do these things, and he's willing to do them," Del. David LaRock (R-33rd District) said.

RELATED: Virginia student group celebrates Roe's reversal

Abortion Rights Rally Richmond

RELATED: Richmond abortion rally draws both pro-life, pro-choice crowds

Democrats and abortion-rights supporters have said they have opposed attempts to rollback access.

"It's really important that Virginians stand up and show that they are going to fight back," Virginia Planned Parenthood Executive Director Jaime Lockhard said. "That they're not going to allow abortion bans to come here to the Commonwealth of Virginia. That abortion is legal and we're going to fight like hell to keep it that way."

The road to any potential changes runs through the state Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

Senate President Louise Lucas (D-18th District), who chairs the committee that would hear such legislation, said she would not agree to anything less than what is currently in the code of Virginia.

"If the governor is trying to push a 15-week ban, it's not going to get through my committee. I can guarantee you that one," Lucas said. "The bill is dead on arrival."

WTVR CBS 6 reached out to Youngkin's office about the call from Good on a complete ban. But a spokesperson referred back to his previous statements regarding his support for the Republican lawmakers working on a potential compromise bill.

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