RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The future of abortion in Virginia could hinge on one primary in the Richmond area. 

Democratic State Senator Joe Morrissey is seeking reelection in the Virginia Senate, this time in a newly drawn 13th District

In an interview at his office on June 6, Morrissey told 8News that a decision about an abortion is between a woman and her doctor. Morrissey added, “Legislators shouldn’t tell women what to do with their bodies.”

However, Morrissey co-authored a 2022 bill that would have barred most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

“My position has been that if a fetus can feel pain and that could be 22, 24, 26 weeks,” said Morrissey. “I don’t think anybody would agree that an abortion is proper if a fetus can feel pain.”

Lashrecse Aird, a former state delegate running against Morrissey, said despite the senator claiming he’s pro-choice, his actions in the legislature tell a different story. 

“My opponent says one thing, but his legislative record reflects him doing another,” Aird explained. “Throughout his legislative career, as recently as this past legislative session, he had the opportunity to cast the deciding vote on whether to submit reproductive rights into our Constitution and he skipped that vote intentionally.” 

Another point of contention, Morrissey said Aird supported a 2019  bill as a member of the House of Delegates that would have rolled back restrictions on abortions during the third trimester. 

“She supported Delegate Tran’s Bill that allowed an abortion up until the day of delivery,” said Morrissey. “That is simply wrong.” 

“There is no such thing. Ask any physician,” Aird responded. “There was never such a thing being proposed in the General Assembly and of course that is not such a thing I would support.”

It’s important to note, Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate, and with all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly up for grabs in November, access to abortion could come down to one vote.