HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia legislators met with Vice President Kamala Harris in Henrico County for a discussion on protecting access to abortion in Virginia on Saturday, July 23.
“The United States Supreme Court took a constitutional right, that had been recognized, from the American people,” Harris said during the discussion. “Every day, starting with the day that decision came down, we have seen in our country, extremist so-called leaders who are, in many states, criminalizing healthcare professionals; punishing women; passing laws that will ban outright, or essentially ban, a woman’s access to abortion care or reproductive care with no exception, in some states, for rape or incest.”
Before visiting Richmond, the vice president met with state lawmakers and advocates in Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and at the White House to talk about efforts to protect abortion rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on June 24 that struck down the constitutional right to an abortion.
“We are so glad to have Vice President Harris here, not only to hear what we have and are doing in Virginia, but what she and President Biden can do to protect access to reproductive healthcare,” said Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), who hosted the discussion at the IBEW Local 666 in Highland Springs.
Abortions remain legal in Virginia for the time being, but several Republican legislators and Governor Glenn Youngkin have made clear their intentions to restrict or ban abortions in Virginia.
Youngkin tapped four state Republican lawmakers to draft legislation that would implement an abortion ban, saying he would sign any bill to “protect life” and later acknowledging he would support stricter limits and seek them if Republicans take over the General Assembly.
Despite the Republican push for change, the Democrats have held firm on their intentions.
“There is a lot at stake for a lot of people on this issue,” Harris said to the Virginia lawmakers around her. “And I am proud to be joined by such extraordinary leaders who are stakeholders, who are legislators, to talk about how we will stand for the American people and their rights.”