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Virginia Democratic ticket pledges defense of abortion rights

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 10:38 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - The Democrats running for statewide office in Virginia say their Republican opponents will ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood.

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Richmond, they argued new abortion restrictions in Texas should tell Virginians what’s at stake in the November election.

The controversy over the Texas restrictions, and the Supreme Court’s decision not to block them, has increased the focus on abortion rights at the state level.

“For years we have said that Roe v. Wade is under attack. Roe v. Wade has ended in Texas as we know it,” Terry McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe stood with his running mates: Hala Ayala, the Democratic party’s nominee for lieutenant governor, and Mark Herring, who is seeking another term as attorney general.

Their first joint news conference of the campaign was a warning to Virginians who support abortion rights.

“I want every single voter to know this,” Ayala said. “Reproductive rights are on the ballot this November, and there is only one ticket who will protect your rights.”

“Texas’s abortion ban is a clear warning of what is at stake here in Virginia if any of the Republicans on the ballot are elected,” added Herring.

“And we are going to continue to make this state opening and welcoming,” McAuliffe said. “We are going to respect women’s individual rights to make decisions about their own body. And so we’re going to stop what they’re trying to do.”

We requested an interview with campaign of Republican Glenn Youngkin, but he was not available to speak with us Tuesday. A campaign spokesperson shared a statement which described McAuliffe as “a pro-abortion extremist” who is “out of step with a strong majority of Virginians.”

“Forget creating jobs and lowering costs for families,” the campaign statement said. “First Terry McAuliffe was all about Donald Trump. Now it’s all about dividing Virginians over abortion.”

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