Democratic win in Virginia special election stymies Gov. Youngkin’s push for 15-week abortion ban


Democrat Aaron Rouse won a special election for a state Senate seat in Virginia. While his Republican opponent conceded in a race . seen as a proxy fight against abortion.

Rouse, a former NFL player who has served on the Virginia Beach City Council for the past several years. Flipped a GOP seat held by Jane Keegan until she won the congressional seat in November. Rouse defeated Republican Kevin Adams, a retired Navy lieutenant commander.

“While the outcome last night was not what we wanted. I am proud of the campaign I ran and grateful for the people. Who believed in me and this campaign along the way.” Adams said in a concession statement a day after Tuesday’s special election. .

Democrats hold a 22-18 majority in the state Senate. And Rouse is expected to cast a key vote against efforts by Gov. Glenn Yonkin. And GOP lawmakers to pass a bill that would ban abortions. After 15 weeks of pregnancy instead of the current one. The threshold is around 26 weeks.

“Reproductive rights and liberties in Virginia hang by a tenuous.

Thread, especially in the wake of overturning Roe. And the only thing standing by one vote in the Virginia state Senate.” Tarina Keen, executive director of REPRO Rising Virginia, said Wednesday.

“It all comes down to one vote, and adding Aaron Rouse to the state Senate at this uncertain time. Only helps protect reproductive rights and freedoms here in the Commonwealth. We know he is and will be a champion for reproductive rights and freedoms. Any abortion that should be introduced in Virginia should be done now.” There is not a solid vote on the ban,” Keen added.

Democratic state Sen. Joe Morrissey expressed. His willingness to consider proposals to limit abortion access last week. Telling Richmond’s WRIC-TV in an interview that he would keep an “open mind.”

Lt. Gov. Winsom Earle-Sears, a Republican. Cast the tiebreaking vote in the Senate, meaning an Adams win. Combined with election Morrissey’s possible support. Could put Youngkin in a stronger position to get his abortion proposal. Republicans control the House of Delegates.

During the campaign, Rouse said protecting access to abortion was a priority.

Pledging on her website that she would “not compromise” on abortion rights.

Adams, meanwhile, said she would support Youngkin’s proposed. ban “while providing reasonable exceptions to protect the life of the mother. Or in cases of rape or molestation,” according to a statement on her campaign website. Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America endorsed Adams in the race

In his State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday. Youngkin urged the General Assembly to pass a 15-week ban.

“When it comes to unborn children, we can come together. We can choose life and support mothers. Fathers and families in difficult decisions,” Youngkin said. “This session I have asked the General Assembly to come together to save life at 15 weeks, when a baby can feel pain. It’s clear that Virginians want fewer abortions, not more.”

Rouse, who received a congratulatory phone call from President Joe Biden on Wednesday. Responded to Youngkin on Twitter, saying in part. “I will always protect women’s reproductive rights. Support public education and build an economy for all.”

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