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Democrats want to enshrine abortion rights into the Virginia constitution

Posted at 12:54 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 12:54:08-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation to enshrine abortions rights into the state constitution.

Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) are sponsors of the “Constitutional Amendment for Reproductive Freedom.”

If passed, the amendment would grant individuals “the fundamental right to reproductive freedom and that the right to make and effectuate one's own decisions about all matters related to one’s pregnancy…”

Current Virginia law bans abortions after 26 weeks and six days of pregnancy.

“For every single individual that is facing decisions about when they’re going to have a child, if they’re going to have a child, with whom, and what time, legislators will not be at the kitchen table with them," said Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax), who is co-sponsoring the amendment.

Republicans and Family Foundation’s Todd Gathje said they worried the amendment would allow lawmakers to pass fewer restrictions on abortion than what most Virginians do want.

“We saw last week an effort to try and pass what the governor is saying he approved, is a 15-week bill. We saw another version that extended it to 24 weeks. In both of those instances both of those bills were defeated which provided reasonable limitations and parameters,” Gathje explained.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has publicly asked for a 15-week ban on most abortions, which Democrats are against.

“We know banning abortion will not stop people from needing access to abortion and lives are put at risk when lawmakers restrict access. Denial access to abortion care whether it's from an abortion or miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy can lead to death,” said Del. Herring.

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