The Virginia General Assembly will reconvene September 7, which has triggered alarm from pro-choice groups worried that Republicans may try to introduce pro-life legislation. But a spokesperson for Governor Glenn Youngkin said that the session will be focused on appointing judges and that Youngkin’s pro-life legislation won’t be introduced until the 2023 session.
“Governor Glenn Youngkin is calling the legislature back to Richmond on September 7, and we have a feeling he will try to sneak an abortion ban through the House of Delegates,” REPRO Rising Virginia tweeted Thursday.
REPRO Rising said that although legislators can’t file their own bills, Youngkin could send down legislation.
“This would be the perfect opportunity for him to send down an abortion ban for an anti-abortion delegate to carry,” the organization said.
However, on Friday, Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said that wasn’t the plan, and highlighted Youngkin’s remarks made after the Dobbs decision, explaining that he planned to introduce legislation in time for the 2023 session that begins in January. In June, Youngkin and pro-life activists said that passing abortion-related legislation would not be a challenge given Democratic control of the Senate.
“I believe it will take time, and this isn’t something that we should rush. And so I’ve asked them to have a bill that hopefully I can sign in January,” Youngkin told The Star in July.
On Friday, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City) said he didn’t know what the session was for, but regarding potential action on abortion Norment said, “I do not see that.”
Norment had heard the rumor: “Yeah, some people were out at NCSL [National Conference of State Legislatures]. I did not make it, but one of my guys sent out a text, ‘Oh, I heard from within CSL the governor is calling for a special session on Roe v. Wade and abortion.’ Typical unreliable source.”
Senate Education and Health Committee Chair Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) will be a major obstacle for Republicans who want to get an abortion bill out of committee.
On Friday, she told The Virginia Star, “Well [Youngkin] is saying it’s all about judges, but I am preparing for the eventuality that another bill comes down, and if it does, I want them to bring the handcuffs because they’re going to have to lock me up because I’m going to tear it up and put it in the trash can.”
Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network.
This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.