Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe insists access to abortion in the state would be eliminated if Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate, wins in November.
“Abortion will be gone here in Virginia,” McAuliffe told reporters on Tuesday. “With the Trump court, now what you’re seeing happen in Texas, with a candidate like Glenn Youngkin who said he will go on the offense to ban abortions and defund Planned Parenthood.”
He added, “If Glenn Youngkin is elected governor, women’s rights, reproductive rights will be taken away.”
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Virginia Gov. candidate @TerryMcAuliffe: "Abortion will be gone here in Virginia… If Glenn Youngkin is elected governor, women's rights, reproductive rights will be taken away." https://t.co/6mWeDVw2T1 pic.twitter.com/4ZKd747SCE
— The Hill (@thehill) October 13, 2021
PolitiFact says that McAuliffe’s claim “stretches” what Youngkin has promised to do in terms of an abortion ban.
The fact-checking site notes that the Republican candidate has “never said he would ban all abortions.”
“Youngkin supports banning most abortions when a fetus can feel pain, arguably 20 weeks into pregnancy. Virginia now allows an unimpeded path to abortion when a fetus is viable outside the womb, usually 22 to 24 weeks into pregnancy,” PolitiFact explained.
Additionally, it notes that Youngkin “will not say if he backs banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, about six weeks into pregnancy.”
McAuliffe’s comments come amid an ongoing legal battle over a controversial law in Texas that bans most abortions.
On Friday night, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily reinstated the law just days after U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman suspended it. On Monday, the Justice Department asked the courts to suspend the law again.
The general election for the Virginia statehouse is on Nov. 2, which polls show is a tight race. In September, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report changed its rating of the race from “lean Democrat” to a “toss-up.”
Earlier this year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) similarly claimed that if he was ousted in a recall election and the leading Republican candidate won, the state’s abortion policies would be severely curtailed.
Newsom went on to handily beat back the recall challenge in September.
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