Fairfax County prosecutor Steve Descano recently penned an op-ed in the New York Times, announcing that he would not enforce any abortion restrictions.
Although Governor Youngkin has not announced any efforts to restrict abortion in his state, as reported by Fox News, Descano warned that Youngkin “could well strip women of their reproductive rights” if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“While the commonwealth does not have an abortion ban on the books, our governor has said that he is ‘staunchly, unabashedly’ against abortion and fully committed to ‘going on the offense’ against abortion rights in our legislature. Should Roe fall, he could well strip women of their reproductive rights — and go after thousands more who flock to the state whenever neighboring jurisdictions clamp down on abortion access,” Descano wrote.
He also made the declaration that while Youngkin and Virginia representatives can write and pass legislation, he, as a local prosecutor, is the ultimate “arbiter of the law.”
“But we local prosecutors are uniquely positioned to safeguard the rights of the women we represent, by virtue of the discretion the legal system affords us. Every day, we decide where to deploy our limited resources, making judgment calls about which cases are consistent with the values and priorities of the communities we represent, which plea deals to pursue and which crimes merit our attention. When it comes to charging individuals, we are the arbiters of the law,” he wrote.
In Youngkin’s first gubernatorial debate in September, Youngkin insisted that he would not sign a Virginia version of the Texas abortion bill over his opponent, Terry McAuliffe’s accusations of promoting a “far-right social agenda.”
As Roe v. Wade’s future continues to be in limbo, many states are getting ahead of the potential downfall by enacting legislation that would go into effect should it be overturned. As mentioned, Youngkin has yet o enact any kind of such law, however it is clear that Virginia Democrats will not respect any decision that is the one they do not agree with.