Spanberger calls Youngkin’s refusal to sign birth control access bill ‘outrageous’

"It is out of step with what the people of Virginia want," Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) said in an interview on MSNBC on Thursday about Youngkin not signing a bill that would legally protect the right to access birth control in Virginia. "This was important legislation." (Screenshot Courtesy of Spanberger's account on X, formerly known as Twitter)

By Michael O'Connor

April 12, 2024

Spanberger criticized Youngkin’s refusal to sign a bill that would have given Virginians a legal right to contraception, saying the move follows the conservative playbook following the Dobbs decision.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), a candidate to become Virginia’s governor in 2025, appeared on MSNBC on Thursday to criticize Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s refusal to make birth control access a legal right in Virginia.

“It is out of step with what…the people of Virginia want,” Spanberger said. “This was important legislation.”

The legislation in question, Senate Bill 237, would have given people legal protection to access and use contraception like condoms, birth control, and IUDs. Youngkin has proposed re-writing the measure in a way that backers of the bill say defeats its purpose. Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield) introduced the bill in the Senate.

Advocates of the bill believe protecting the right to birth control access is needed after the US Supreme Court ruled in 2022 the US constitution does not protect the right to an abortion. As Spanberger noted on MSNBC, the Dobbs decision opened the way for conservatives in other states to further restrict or ban abortion and put reproductive health care more broadly in the crosshairs.

“In the wake of the Dobbs decision we knew that it was not just about abortion, that the restrictions would go further,” Spanberger said, adding it was “outrageous” the governor seemed to think the bill goes too far.

Spanberger is running against Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney to be the Democratic nominee for Virginia’s governor in 2025.

On the Republican side, Youngkin can’t run again because of Virginia’s one-term limit for governors. Merle Rutledge is the only Republican candidate that has declared so far, according to Ballotpedia.

  • Michael O'Connor

    Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering Virginia news since 2013 with reporting stints at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Business, and Richmond BizSense. A graduate of William & Mary and Northern Virginia Community College, he also covered financial news for S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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