- Democratic Virginia candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe traded blows with Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin over abortion during Thursday night’s gubernatorial debate.
- Youngkin called for a law banning abortion in Virginia after an unborn baby could feel pain, while McAuliffe pushed to remove restrictions on third trimester abortions.
- “That really puts women in rural communities at a real disadvantage,” McAuliffe said of Virginia’s current restrictions third trimester abortion.
Democratic Virginia candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe traded blows with Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin over abortion during Thursday night’s gubernatorial debate.
For a woman to obtain a third trimester abortion in Virginia, current law requires that three doctors certify the mother would likely die or suffer serious health damages without an abortion. McAuliffe was asked Thursday evening whether he would support reducing the number of doctors required to certify and whether he would support changing the medical standard to merely damage to a woman’s health.
He responded that “the problem is” rural parts of Virginia don’t always have three available doctors.
“So that really puts women in rural communities at a real disadvantage,” he said.
McAuliffe assured viewers that he he would “of course” support a measure to ease third trimester abortion restrictions, adding that Youngkin “wants to ban abortion” — a claim that the Washington Post recently gave him “two pinnochios” for, since Youngkin has carefully steered clear of taking such a clear stance on abortion.
Though Youngkin has made it clear that he supports rolling back Democratic abortion expansions, WaPo noted, he does not support Planned Parenthood, doesn’t think taxpayer dollars should go to abortions, and he hasn’t specifically said that he would ban abortions or defund the organization.
Youngkin himself told the Daily Caller News Foundation he is pro-life but believes “in exceptions in the case of rape, and in case of incest, in case the mother’s life is in jeopardy.” He did not give the DCNF specifics on what type of abortion restrictions he would support.
McAuliffe also warned that restricting abortion in Virginia will only cripple the economy by angering the likes of tech giants Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
Youngkin said again Thursday that he is pro-life but believes in exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk.
“I think the Texas bill is one that is the standard right now that we’re all looking at,” he said, referring to Texas’ new Heartbeat Act, “and I would not sign the Texas bill today…the Texas bill also is unworkable and confusing.”
The Republican candidate then steered the conversation towards McAuliffe’s “extreme views” on abortion.
“What we’re not doing this evening is talking to my opponent about his extreme views,” he said, “see my opponent doesn’t want to talk about this topic tonight, because he actually called legislation that would enable abortion, paid for with taxpayer money, all the way up through and including birth, where a child is kept comfortable while a decision is made whether that child lives or dies.”
“He called that legislation common sense legislation and said he would sign it,” Youngkin said. “Friends, my opponent wants to be the abortion governor and I want to be the jobs governor.”
The Republican candidate again said that he supports a law banning abortion after an unborn baby can feel pain, while McAuliffe promised the women of Virginia that he supports “the laws we have on the books today” and would like to see Virginia enshrine Roe v. Wade.
“My opponent ignores the truth, he’s the most extreme pro abortion candidate in America today,” Youngkin said, “and he’s marketing Virginia as a place to come get an abortion as opposed to a place to come do business.”
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