Glenn Youngkin Funding Anti Choice Extremists Through PAC

Regardless of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s try to look reasonable by calling for a 15-week abortion ban, the Republican governor is quietly funding anti-choice extremist lawmakers, a lot of whom have stated they consider life begins at conception.

Spirit of Virginia, Youngkin’s political motion committee beforehand generally known as Virginia Wins, donated almost $100,000 to anti-choice down-ballot Republican candidates within the state up to now this yr, in keeping with marketing campaign finance information. The governor created the PAC in 2021 to help Republican candidates at each degree of presidency. Youngkin, a former CEO of a world funding agency, was the only contributor to the PAC when Spirit of Virginia first launched. He stays a serious donor and was behind over $295,000 in donations within the 2022-23 fiscal yr.

The $99,214 has gone to 10 Republican candidates working in intently watched races within the state Senate and Home of Delegates, in keeping with public information. All of Virginia’s Normal Meeting is up for reelection in November, and the result of sure races might have far-reaching ramifications for abortion entry in Virginia — and, by extension, the entire Southeast, as many neighboring states have handed rather more restrictive bans. Democrats maintain the state Senate by a slim margin, whereas Republicans management the Home of Delegates by only a few seats.

Youngkin’s PAC donated at the very least $3,500 to Home of Delegates candidate Republican John Stirrup, who stated earlier this yr that he would help a complete abortion ban. He later walked again these feedback, indicating he didn’t discover help in Richmond for a complete ban however would help a 15-week abortion ban. Different candidates funded by Youngkin’s PAC embrace incumbent Del. Emily Brewer, who pledged to “100% support pro-life policy,” believes that life begins at conception, and has supported pressured ultrasounds and pre-abortion counseling. Incumbent Tara Durant, who additionally believes life begins at conception and has vowed to enact anti-abortion laws, acquired funding from Spirit of Virginia as properly.

Youngkin’s PAC beforehand donated to 2 candidates working in aggressive districts: Karen Greenhalgh and Kim Taylor, who’re each working for reelection this yr. As of August, Spirit of Virginia had solely contributed funds to Greenhalgh’s and Taylor’s 2021 campaigns, donating $49,000 to Greenhalgh and $8,000 to Taylor.

“Gov. Youngkin is looking to bring Virginians together to find consensus,” Zack Roday, the coordinated campaigns director of Spirit of Virginia, instructed HuffPost. “He would like to protect life at 15 weeks with exceptions after 15 weeks for rape, incest, and life of the mother. This is a reasonable approach to a challenging issue, unlike the far-left extreme candidates who support abortion up until the moment of birth.”

Some specialists have prompt that Youngkin could also be ready to throw his hat right into a future presidential ring till he can ship a Republican trifecta in his state ― elevating his nationwide profile and certain bolstering him to the highest tier of Republican candidates. Youngkin has for years offered himself as a reasonable candidate — together with on reproductive rights whereas campaigning in 2021 — regardless of pushing extra excessive laws behind closed doorways.

“I’m proud to be a pro-life governor and plan to take every action I can to protect life,” Youngkin stated in a assertion after the Supreme Court docket overturned Roe v. Wade final yr. He later stated he would “happily and gleefully” signal any anti-abortion laws that lands on his desk.

In his state funds proposal final yr, he allotted $50,000 towards establishing a 15-week abortion ban, which he and his marketing campaign have frequently known as a “consensus” restrict. A state Senate subcommittee blocked the ban earlier this yr, however Youngkin will possible re-up the restriction if Republicans can win again the state Senate.

Though Youngkin is banking on the phantasm {that a} 15-week abortion ban is reasonable ― particularly compared to near-total or six-week bans being handed by contemporaries like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — it could nonetheless have a big impact on Virginians and sufferers from neighboring states.

Simply over 95% of abortions in Virginia happen earlier than the 15-week level. However usually, the individuals looking for abortions after 15 weeks are essentially the most marginalized: They’re beneath 18, low-income and/or stay in rural areas with boundaries to care. Moreover, genetic testing for deadly fetal abnormalities usually doesn’t happen till 18 or 20 weeks, which means a 15-week abortion ban would pressure individuals with needed pregnancies who uncover a fetal abnormality to hunt crucial medical care exterior of Virginia.

Since South Carolina not too long ago enacted a six-week abortion ban, Virginia is the final secure haven for abortion entry within the Southeast, because it permits abortion by the second trimester of being pregnant and into the third if the mom’s life is in danger.

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