A new nonprofit aligned with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is making abortion its first play in Virginia ahead of key elections this year.
Democrats’ political committee focused on state legislatures is launching a new affiliated nonprofit.
The nonprofit State Democracy Action Fund’s opening move is a digital ad campaign on abortion in Virginia. The ad raises the possibility of an abortion ban in the state and attacks GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin and “extremist lawmakers” for wanting to ban abortion in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
It marks an early example of how Democrats are continuing to lean into the key issue after a strong midterm performance. The ads are a sign that strategists for the party believe abortion will remain a major motivating factor for voters.
Virginia is one of four states that are holding legislative elections this year. Members of the state House and Senate will be on the ballot in November, and the state is expected to be highly competitive.
Democratic campaigns across the country hammered Republicans on abortion policy after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. It helped the democrats have an unexpectedly successful midterm election, expanding its Senate majority and reelecting a number of governors even while narrowly losing the House.
And on the state legislative level, Democrats notched some of their greatest successes in a generation. They did not lose control of a chamber in 2022 and flipped four away from Republicans.
Abortion is a massive issue in Virginia. Just last week, in a series of key votes, Virginia Senate Democrats defeated several bills that would have restricted abortion access in the state, including a proposed 15-week ban with exceptions that was a priority for the state Republican Governor.
They are the first decisive legislative votes in Virginia since the Supreme Court’s decision last year overturning Roe v. Wade. The votes mean that barring an extraordinary procedural move, such restrictions are unlikely to be enacted this year in Virginia, which currently has some of the South’s most permissive abortion laws.
Virginia law currently allows abortion during the first and second trimesters. The procedure may be performed during the third trimester only if multiple physicians certify that continuing the pregnancy is likely to “substantially and irremediably” impair the mental or physical health of the woman or result in her death.