Leahy: Preparing for an ‘Extreme’ Abortion Debate in Virginia

When the draft of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling was leaked, I wrote that Virginia lawmakers were unprepared for life in a world without the Roe v. Wade backstop.

Have they gotten any more prepared in the six weeks since? Some might think so. The news releases Republican worthies issued in the wake of the court’s actual ruling generally point toward the same goal: restricting access to abortion, perhaps with a few exceptions, after 15 to 20 weeks. But beyond that, they resort to a familiar rhetorical crutch: Democrats are abortion extremists who can’t be taken seriously.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) didn’t play the “extreme” card. Instead, the governor said he hopes for a “bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb.” Which is another way of saying his opening bid on restrictions is 15 weeks, maybe 20, tops, if that’s what can get approved.

Youngkin also said he wants to support “mothers and families who choose life.” What support means is very important. Does it mean more state funding for prenatal care and — crucially — for care and support long after children are born?

Virginia Republicans need real answers and concrete, fully-funded proposals. Otherwise, they risk turning the satiric script The Post’s Alexandra Petri described into reality:

Up until the moment of birth, you are a glistening orb of magical potential. You might become a president, or better yet, the man who picks the president by deciding which electoral votes get counted.

And then here is birth, after which you are on your own.

Once you have been born, you are a nuisance and, possibly, a woman — two categories the Supreme Court generally frowns upon. The born are always asking for things.

Continue reading here.

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