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Battleground Virginia: Youngkin & GOP’s offense strategy on abortion has Democrats spooked
All eyes are on Virginia to prove that abortion is not the Left’s silver bullet in the state’s General Assembly elections next week, SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser writes in an op-ed at The Hill today:
Politico recently described [Governor Glenn] Youngkin as “betting big” on a platform of protecting babies in the womb at 15 weeks, a point when science shows they feel pain, with an assertive strategy of going on offense to refute opponents’ lies…What’s distinct and special about Virginia is the unity among Republicans under Youngkin’s leadership, their fearlessness and the resources they are marshalling to back their message and level the playing field. It’s the first time since the Dobbs Supreme Court decision that all of these elements will really be put to the test in a bellwether state.
As we previously highlighted in this space, Youngkin’s PAC is backing this effort with a $1.4 million ad campaign. The House and Senate Republican Caucuses launched nolimitsvirginia.com to contrast their own consensus position with Virginia Democrats’ support for abortion on demand for any reason, throughout pregnancy.
In turn, SBA Pro-Life America’s partner Women Speak Out Virginia is making its largest-ever investment in state legislative races in Virginia, with a combination of digital ads, voter contact mail and phone outreach to expose the contrast between the Democrats’ no-limits abortion agenda and the Republicans who are working to stop cruel late-term abortions.
Meanwhile, over at The Washington Post, pollster Celinda Lake doubled down on the Democrats’ closing argument that voters are too ignorant to understand that Republican legislation would limit abortion approximately four months into pregnancy, or that babies in the womb can feel excruciating pain at this point:
“Democrats were terrified of 15 weeks because it initially did poll well and Americans are bad at math and they have no idea how long a pregnancy lasts,” Democratic pollster Lake said.
Why “terrified”? As Marjorie recently explained on Politico Playbook’s Deep Dive podcast, under the old regime of Roe v. Wade the Democrats and the abortion industry were accustomed to “hold[ing] the whole basket” on abortion. They refuse to back any limit on abortion at any point in pregnancy because any backing down from their extremist position constitutes a loss for them, whereas every child and mother protected is a win for the pro-life movement.
Instead of providing clarity about their own positions like the Republicans are doing, Democrats in Virginia are simply resorting to flat-out lies:
…the conversation escalated Tuesday after Joel Griffin, the Democratic nominee in a competitive Fredericksburg-area Senate race, publicized a new ad criticizing his Republican opponent, Tara Durant.
“Tara Durant supports letting Virginia ban abortions with no exceptions. … She supports letting Virginia force a 10-year-old rape victim carry to term,” female speakers warned in the video.
Included as citations for both statements was a 2022 Facebook post from Durant praising the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, an OB-GYN who represents the 16th District, was even attacked by the pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for supporting the 15-week limit. Earlier this year ACOG straight-up admitted they want abortion “without restrictions, without limitations and without barriers.”
Over 60% of Virginia voters support protecting babies at 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother, which matches Youngkin’s priority legislation.
If Virginia Republicans succeed in keeping their House majority, or even flipping the Senate, it will give candidates nationwide a blueprint for how they can tackle the issue of abortion and win – even in blue states.