© 2022
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Abortion will be at the forefront of next year's General Assembly session


The recent Supreme Court decision on abortion is setting the stage for a General Assembly session where reproductive rights will be on the agenda.

Some lawmakers in Virginia are already talking about introducing legislation that declares life begins at conception, a move that would outlaw abortion in cases of rape or incest as well as put at risk in vitro fertilization. Victoria Cobb is president at the Family Foundation.

“Our goal is to make abortion unthinkable, is to declare that life begins at conception," Cobb says. "So in the meantime we’ll work with elected officials to adopt laws that save as many unborn lives as possible."

Earlier this week, Governor Glenn Youngkin told the Family Foundation he’ll sign any bill to protect life – a prospect Jamie Lockhart at Planned Parenthood says is alarming to supporters of reproductive freedom.

"Any abortion ban is extreme because any abortion ban is taking the power away from the pregnant person in consultation with their medical team," Lockhart says. "But saying that life begins at conception has implications for other pregnancy outcomes like miscarriages. It has implications for fertility treatments."

She says she's particularly worried about how criminal investigation of miscarriages would be conducted, and if people of color would be disproportionately targeted for prosecution.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria. He has reported for NPR, the New York Daily News and the Alexandria Gazette Packet. He has a master's degree in American Studies from Florida State University, and he is a former adjunct professor at Tallahassee Community College. He is the author of four books.