Gov. Youngkin is pushing for a 15-week abortion ban in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned.
Youngkin has assembled a group of Republicans to develop a bill for legislators in Richmond.
"Virginians do want fewer abortions as opposed to more abortions," he told The Washington Post on Friday.
Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia on Friday said he would push for a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
Youngkin, who took office earlier this year, said in a statement that the court's decision was an "appropriate" return of power "to the people and their elected representatives in the states."
"Virginians do want fewer abortions as opposed to more abortions," the governor said in a meeting at The Washington Post shortly after the decision was made public. "I am not someone who is going to jump in and try to push us apart … There is a place we can come together."
Youngkin has tapped four Republican legislators — who are all anti-abortion — to help write legislation that will be presented to the rest of the legislature when it reconvenes in Richmond in January 2023.
In Virginia, the GOP has a 52-48 majority in the House of Delegates while Democrats have a 21-19 edge in the Senate.
However, Democratic state Sen. Joe Morrissey of Richmond in a Friday statement said he supports legal abortion "up to the moment a fetus can feel pain." If he aligns himself with Republicans on the issue, a Youngkin-led bill could potentially pass due to the tiebreaking vote of the GOP lieutenant governor, Winsome Earle-Sears.
The governor in the past has called himself a pro-life governor and said that he'd back exceptions for rape and incest, along with cases where the life of the mother is endangered.
During last year's gubernatorial campaign, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who unsuccessfully ran against Youngkin, sought to paint the Republican as an extremist who wanted to "ban abortion."
In return, Youngkin said that the former governor, who served from 2014 to 2018, was "the most extreme pro-abortion candidate in America today."
McAuliffe painted himself as a "brick wall" who would fight back against Republican attempts to restrict abortion in Virginia, a state that had been moving dramatically away from the GOP for over a decade until the party made a major comeback last year.
Still, the Commonwealth is dominated by its urban and suburban corridors, from Northern Virginia to the Richmond metropolitan area and Hampton Roads; these areas are filled many college-educated voters who abandoned the GOP during former President Donald Trump's tenure in the White House.
Democratic lawmakers across the state immediately blasted the court's 5-4 decision overturning Roe.
Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, who represents a suburban district outside of Washington, DC, called the court "extreme."
"The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is an all-out assault on women's right to an abortion — our worst fears, realized — handed down by an extreme and partisan Court that is violating decades of precedent," she said on Friday.
And state Sen. Jennifer McClellan of Richmond said that a 15-week ban is "out of step with what a majority of Virginians want."
"We're going to say no. We're going to say to the party that professes to care about parental rights, you will not insert yourself into the decision whether to become a parent in the first place," she added.
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