Jamie Lockhart, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia talked Wednesday about the recent news that the Supreme Court of the United States will likely be overturning Roe v. Wade. She also stressed the importance of electing legislators who support abortion as a way to ensure that more restrictions are not put in place in the future.
“All the emotions,” Lockhart said of the moments she learned the news. “We knew that this was likely coming – that anti-abortion activists have been planning for this for decades.”
President Donald Trump appointed three new conservative Supreme Court justices during his four years as president paving the way for the highest court in the land to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed the right to an abortion in the United States.
“It’s heartbreaking thinking about the people in what is estimated to be 26 states who are likely to lose access to abortion care,” Lockhart said. “To be honest I just felt sick.”
Nothing in Virginia will immediately change if Roe is overturned. That could change in the future, however, depending on which party has power.
“Today, abortion is legal and it will remain legal after the U.S. Supreme Court officially announces their decision,” Lockhart said. “While abortion will continue to be legal here in Virginia, the future of abortion rights depends on our elected officials serving in Richmond. This decision will return the power to states.”
She stressed the importance of electing legislators next year that will continue to advocate for healthcare access. Republicans control the House of Delegates by two seats and Democrats hold only a one-seat majority in the state Senate. One of those senators, however, is anti-choice Democrat Joe Morrissey.
His primary opponent, former state Del. Lasheresce Aird (D) called him out in a statement Tuesday. “This is about all of us and if this opinion is a reality, my candidacy to the Virginia Senate, against an anti-choice democrat just became more dire than ever,” Aird said. “This race single-handedly is now the difference between protecting Virginia’s progress in expanding reproductive freedom and not.”
Governor Glenn Youngkin said Tuesday that he agrees that states should be making these laws while reiterating that he opposes abortion.
“Im pro-life and I have been very clear about that,” Youngkin said. “This should be a state’s decision. We are going to have to wait until the Supreme Court ruling is final before we in fact can really define where we are going to go.”
Listen to the full interview with Lockhart below:
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