Governor Glenn Youngkin and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears spoke in a Tuesday evening webinar where speakers highlighted the win for conservatives in the Dobbs decision, while also calling on pro-life supporters to vote, donate, and volunteer for Republicans in upcoming elections. Twenty-one to 19 Democratic control of the Senate was a constant theme of the speakers, who sounded a note of caution about the speed of change Virginians should expect.
“Any bill that comes to my desk, I will sign happily and gleefully in order to protect life,” Youngkin said.
Conservative activism and lobbyist organization The Family Foundation hosted the webinar. In addition to Youngkin and Earle-Sears, other speakers included former Governor Bob McDonnell, State Senator Steve Newman (R-Bedford), and Delegate Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper).
Youngkin said he hoped to see a bill that could get a few votes from Democrats “in order to see movement here.”
“My goal is that we in fact get a bill to sign. It won’t be the bill that we all want. And I just so agree with Steve that life begins at conception, but I will also tell you just a year ago, I’m not sure we would have ever believed that a pain threshold bill at 15 weeks was something that, in the 2023 legislative session, that we would have a real shot at getting,” Youngkin said.
Several commenters during the call expressed frustration at aiming for a pain threshold bill instead of something larger.
“We don’t have a pro-life governor if he won’t seek complete abolition,” one anonymous commenter wrote.
In her speech later during the webinar, Earle-Sears appeared to refer to State Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond), who supports pro-life positions but didn’t support a recent budget amendment that would have banned using Virginia tax funds on abortion.
“It was not to be. We didn’t get one Democrat to vote for us, didn’t even get a Democrat who would normally have stepped away to that I could have broken the tie. No, no, no. No, the bravery is not there folks,” she said.
“So, what does that mean? We’re going to put everybody on the board right. Next year is a vote, we’re going to put them on the board. and if they vote against it, we win. If they vote for it — we win either way, because it’s an election year. We’re going to see just how I call it wicked that these votes are going to be,” Earle-Sears said.
She called the audience to support candidates and to pray. She also highlighted the recent proliferation of pro-choice protests and called the audience to be more visible.
Some speakers said there’s a need to support pregnant women. Attorney General Jason Miyares’ Chief of Staff D.J. Jordan said that Miyares is focused on protecting pregnancy resource centers after post-Dobbs vandalism at a center in Lynchburg and at a center in Waynesboro.
Freitas said that the goal isn’t just legislative wins.
He said, “Please, please, please, never forget the cultural battle as well, because ultimately, that’s the way we’re going to win this. That’s the way we’re going to get to the ultimate victory, which is not just a legal prohibition against destroying innocent human life, but a cultural conviction that such a law shouldn’t even be necessary.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Glenn Youngkin” by Governor of Virginia. Photo “Winsome Earle-Sears” by Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Doug Kerr. CC BY-SA 2.0.