The Corner

Elections

Will Virginians Vote for Unlimited Taxpayer-Funding of Elective Abortions?

The November 5 legislative elections in Virginia, where Republicans currently control the house of delegates 51-49 and the senate 20-19, aren’t getting much attention, and many voters may not realize that the results could have disastrous consequences.

Some Democrats have blunted the GOP’s message about late-term abortion by running away from the abortion bill sponsored by Kathy Tran. After the backlash, U.S. senator Tim Kaine said he opposed Tran’s bill, and one of the Democrats who voted for it in committee said he probably would vote against it if it came up again. But most Democrats stayed silent. After Republican candidate Kelly McGinn hit delegate Danica Roem, a Democrat and the first transgender member of the Virginia legislature, for supporting the abortion bill, Roem finally publicly opposed the bill this month.

But even if Democrats have obscured the radical nature of their abortion agenda, Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, warns that an extreme agenda is exactly what Democrats will implement if they gain complete control of Virginia’s government for the first time in nearly three decades.

“There are no more pro-life Democrats in Virginia,” says Turner. “Currently there are no sitting members of the general assembly on the Democratic side who oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.” Virginia, like most states, prohibits state tax dollars from being used to fund elective abortions for Medicaid recipients. Among the states that do fund Medicaid abortions, only seven have done so voluntarily, while the other ten are under court mandates to do so. Providing taxpayer funding of abortion for Medicaid recipients has a dramatic effect in increasing the abortion rate.

“If they get full control, it is their avowed intention — and they said as much during the general assembly — to pass a radical agenda that mirrors the one that passed in New York, stripping out all of Virginia’s . . . reasonable pro-life laws,” says Turner. “Kathy Tran’s bill was not the only bill introduced to achieve that agenda last year. There were actually eight bills.”

One would end Virginia’s 24-hour waiting period for abortion. Another bill would declare abortion a “fundamental right.” After that bill and a Senate bill identical to Kathy Tran’s bill failed to advance in committee, Democratic governor Ralph Northam said, “When we can’t change people’s minds, we change seats.”

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