RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Politico published a Supreme Court draft detailing plans to repeal Roe v. Wade Monday night. Lawmakers from all over the country began releasing statements immediately after.
Republicans who had fostered a decades-long push to end abortion rights praised the prospect while Democrats vowed to fight the possible overturning of nearly a half-century-old constitutional right.
Chief Justice Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the leaked draft document in a statement released Tuesday morning. He also said that an investigation would be conducted into the source of the leak.
What Virginia lawmakers have said
Governor Glenn Youngkin spoke with 8News this morning, condemning the leak itself more than commenting on plans for Virginia.
“This leak that came from the Supreme Court is just an unbelievable breach of confidence,” Youngkin said. “And it was done in order to create chaos and to put pressure on elected officials. And it’s just fundamentally wrong that this happened.”
Youngkin went on to affirm his position as a “pro-life” advocate.
“I think I’ve been clear I’m pro-life and I’ve made that very clear from the moment I announced my candidacy. And I believe that what we found during the campaign and even through today is that there’s a lot of common ground on this topic,” Youngkin said. “We want fewer abortions in Virginia, not more. We, in fact, don’t believe that you should be able to get an abortion all the way up through and including birth. We, in fact, think that parents should be engaged in their children’s lives, particularly in making tough decisions with children who are minors.”
Youngkin also said he supported the overturning of Roe v. Wade and believed abortion laws should be left up to the state.
“I do believe, just like in determining what our education budget should be, what our funding for law enforcement should be, how we handle our taxes at the state level; those are state decisions,” Youngkin said. “That state decision is one that we’re going to have to work with our legislature on what we do. And as I said, I think that there’s common ground on this. But we’re not going to be able to really decide what we’re going to do until we see this decision go final.”
When asked if a 20-week or 15-week ban would be part of his legislative agenda, Youngkin said he couldn’t speculate.
“What I am going to do is go to work for Virginians every day to get taxes down, fund education, fund law enforcement, fund behavioral health, take care of Virginia’s kids. And and when we see a final decision of the Supreme Court, then we’ll be in a position to understand what we’ll be able to do going forward.”
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Abigail Spanberger tweeted their reactions not long after the leak was made public.
“I was born into a world where women were no longer dying from back-alley abortions,” Spanberger said. “As were my three daughters. This leaked draft opinion indicates that after decades, that may all soon change. We voted to codify Roe in the House, and the Senate needs to take it up for a vote.”
“I’m outraged by the reported leaked SCOTUS decision overturning Roe,” Warner said. “I believe abortion care is health care, and I’ll keep fighting for that in the Senate.”
The Virginia House Democratic Caucus Chair, Charniele Herring, also released a statement saying that the overturning of Roe v. Wade would be deadly.
“Let’s be clear – should this draft opinion become final, people will die. Those people will be predominantly women of color and low-income women, women who cannot afford to skirt the law by traveling to another state. Ending the right to legal abortion doesn’t stop abortions from happening, it just makes them less safe by returning them to the back alleys of our past. As more and more nations around the world codify the legal right to abortion, this country is poised to take a step backward, to remove a person’s right to bodily autonomy. With nearly 50 years of precedent being wiped away in one opinion, I hesitate to think which will be next to fall.
“Never has it been more important for states to step up and protect the rights that the federal government fails to uphold. Be assured that we will do everything in our power to stop any attempt by Governor Youngkin or Republican legislators to undermine reproductive rights in Virginia. We have stood up to transvaginal ultrasounds, we have stood up to TRAP laws, and we have fought back attempts to treat women as second-class citizens; Virginia will not backslide, not on our watch.”
Below is a graphic provided by the Associated Press that shows a breakdown of states that will be immediately affected by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.