HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — The Supreme Court voted Friday morning to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion.
Lawmakers and other officials from Virginia, North Carolina and nationwide are reacting to the major news, including Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who is now looking to enact a 15-week abortion ban, a spokesperson confirmed with Virginia Capitol Bureau reporter Jackie DeFusco. The news was first reported by the Washington Post.
In a statement, Youngkin said he’s asking four GOP legislators to find consensus on new abortion legislation for when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.
Youngkin didn’t mention the 15-week proposal in his initial statement. He’d previously said he supported a ban after 20 weeks. The Mississippi law the Supreme Court upheld on Friday makes most abortions illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion will not be impacted in Virginia in the meantime, after a narrow majority in the state Senate blocked new restrictions in the last session. You can see Youngkin’s full statement below.
This list will be updated as more reaction comes in.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R)
“The Supreme Court of the United States has rightfully returned power to the people and their elected representatives in the states. I’m proud to be a pro-life Governor and plan to take every action I can to protect life. The truth is, Virginians want fewer abortions, not more abortions. We can build a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb, and importantly supporting mothers and families who choose life. That’s why I’ve asked Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Senator Steve Newman, Delegate Kathy Byron and Delegate Margaret Ransone to join us in an effort to bring together legislators and advocates from across the Commonwealth on this issue to find areas where we can agree and chart the most successful path forward. I’ve asked them to do the important work needed and be prepared to introduce legislation when the General Assembly returns in January.”
Lieutenant Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears
The Lieutenant Governor supports the Governor’s actions to ensure the safety of the Supreme Court justices and their loved ones.
“We support the First Amendment and the right to protest peacefully but not at the expense of the safety of others. We are a civilized society. The baby in the womb wants to live. We ask for God’s protection for our commonwealth and our country”, stated Winsome Earle-Sears in the decision for Dobbs v. Jackson.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization argued this term before the Supreme Court, will determine the constitutionality of a state’s right to make laws allowing or prohibiting abortion. This case was heard in reference to legislation passed by the state of Mississippi: the Gestational Age Act (HB 1510), prohibiting most abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dobbs, giving power back to the states to make decisions on abortion. The court has recognized that the 1973 decision was an example of judicial and federal overreach. The important question of abortion has now been returned to statehouses across the country, in order for them to make their own policy decisions- which is exactly what the founding fathers envision when they wrote the 10th amendment to the Constitution. I applaud the Court for recognizing this wrong and having the courage to correct it. I look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly in the next legislative session on legislation that respects life,” the Lieutenant Governor added.
The 10th Amendment to the Constitution says, ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’ This ruling supports this amendment.”
Va. Senate President pro tempore Louise Lucas
“I am outraged by today’s Supreme Court ruling on abortion. As Chairman of the Virginia Senate Health Committee I will never allow any bill that restricts a woman’s right to choose to emerge from our committee. Virginia will remain open for choice.”
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-2nd District)
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a rollback of the rights of women in the United States. A woman’s right to choose should be made between a woman, her health care provider, and her faith. For the first time in our nation’s history, today’s women have less freedoms than previous generations.
“This decision is further proof that we need to enshrine reproductive freedom protections into federal law to protect Americans from government overreach and restore the rights of women across the country. I will continue to be an advocate in Congress for women and fight to protect the rights of all Americans, including the right to choose.”
Sen. Jen Kiggans (R)
“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and give Virginians and our elected representatives the opportunity to defend life in our Commonwealth. As a mother and nurse practitioner, I believe all life is precious and must be protected. As a State Senator, I have fought hard for legislation that gives mothers and families the support they need so they can always choose life.
This is our chance to take a stand against the extremist Democrat policies that call abortions up until the moment of birth, keeping babies who service abortion ‘comfortable’ without lifesaving measures and mandating taxpayer-funded abortions. While today’s decision is historic, I know there is more work to be done to uphold the sanctity of life. My fight for the unborn and the most vulnerable Americans will continue in Congress.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D)
“This decision flies in the face of decades of precedent protecting women’s rights to make fundamental personal decisions without needless government interference. Congress must act now to protect those rights. We’re not going to give up on this.”
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (via a spokesperson)
“Today the Supreme Court ruled that the issue of abortion should not be decided by unelected federal judges, but by the people of the States through their elected representatives. Good and reasonable people can disagree on this issue but now Virginians, not federal judges, can decide its future. The Attorney General will continue to uphold and enforce both the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Virginia.”
Victoria LaCivita, Miyares spokesperson
Sen. Mark Warner (D)
Warner used a statement in a Twitter thread that reads in part:
“This decision jeopardizes the health and autonomy of millions of American women and turns back the clock on nearly 50 years of settled and reaffirmed law – reflecting a Court that has increasingly issued politicized rulings that undermine the fundamental rights of Americans.”
Rep. Bobby Scott (D)
“I believe Roe v. Wade was correctly decided nearly 50 years ago. A woman has the right to make her own health care decisions. Today’s Supreme Court decision is fundamentally wrong and a significant setback for individual freedom.”
Gov. Roy Cooper (D)
“For 50 years, women have relied on their constitutional right to make their own medical decisions, but today that right has been tragically ripped away. That means it’s now up to the states to determine whether women get reproductive health care, and in North Carolina, they still can.
I will continue to trust women to make their own medical decisions as we fight to keep politicians out of the doctor’s exam room.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R)
“This ruling is historic and monumental and affirms my belief that all life is sacred. Each state government and its duly elected representatives will now make the determination about the types of laws they wish to have in place. I, for one, will continue to advocate for commonsense measures that the broad majority of Americans support like protecting life at crucial points of development and prohibiting horrendous procedures like partial-birth and pain-capable abortions. This is a very emotional and sensitive issue for many Americans, and I urge calm and respect for the Court’s decision and hope people who have strong feelings on both sides will voice them peacefully.”
“Now with Roe gone, let’s be very clear, the health and life of women across this nation are now at risk,” by Biden said in speech Friday afternoon. He also spoke on Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion that said the Supreme Court should reconsider precedents that legalized same-sex marriage, decriminalized gay sex and made contraception a right for married couples.
Justice Clarence Thomas
In a concurring opinion today, Justice Clarence Thomas said the Supreme Court should reconsider precedents that legalized same-sex marriage, decriminalized gay sex and made contraception a right for married couples.
“Make no mistake — this is just the beginning of a systematic right-wing effort to rewrite decades of bedrock legal precedent,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who predicts “a tsunami of radical litigation and legislation aimed at further eroding rights we have taken for granted.”