What the Supreme Court ruling means for Virginia

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 9:46 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A Supreme Court ruling Friday returns decisions over abortion rights to the states and experts explain what this means for Virginia.

In Virginia, currently, abortion is legal in the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Radford University Assistant Professor of Political Science Allyson Yankle says the Supreme Court’s decision does not have an immediate effect on the law.

“There’s no law that is currently in a place where is call a trigger law that would’ve gone into effect if Roe was overturned,” said Yankle. “So that’s not the case.”

The current abortion law in Virginia does have a few restrictions. Virginia Tech Professor Karen Holt explains.

“State Medicaid money cannot be used to help pay for abortion, abortions unless it involves the health of the mother, or in cases of fetal defect or rape or incest,” explained Hult. “And the final thing about abortions that is worth noting in Virginia is that it still is the case that minors need a parental consent.”

If changes were to be made to the current law they would have to come from the state legislature but experts say that is highly unlikely to happen

“With divided control in the House of Delegates with the lower chamber and upper chamber, I don’t expect there to be any sudden movements until potentially the next election,” added Yankle.

Governor Youngkin tweeted he is reaching out to Republican state legislators to introduce a 15-week threshold for abortions in the next session of the legislature in January 2023. But Democrats have emphasized they will continue to hold the “brick” wall against it.

“Now, in the meantime, the Democrats have by and large said, we’re going to do everything we can to block that from happening,” said Hult.

However, the debate is not over and both experts say it will be an issue heavily discussed on both sides in the upcoming elections.

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.