MEMO: Anti-Choice Republican Glenn Youngkin and Virginia’s Elections

November 4, 2021
To: Interested Parties
From: NARAL Pro-Choice America 
Re: Anti-Choice Republican Glenn Youngkin and Virginia’s Elections

Republican Glenn Youngkin may be a newcomer to politics, but he narrowly won Virginia’s gubernatorial election with longstanding GOP tactics: hiding unpopular views on abortion from voters, and distracting from positions on key issues by ginning up outrage rooted in disinformation and white supremacy. 

Youngkin openly admitted at a fundraiser that telling the truth about his plans to gut reproductive freedom “won’t win my independent votes that I have to get,” but that after the election, he’d “start going on offense.” Throughout his campaign, he stuck to this strategy by refusing to answer basic questions about his positions on reproductive freedom, including SB 8, Texas’ extreme, vigilante-enforced ban on abortion care.

Glenn Youngkin’s admitted, deliberate strategy of obfuscating his position on abortion may have worked with voters, but anti-choice groups and conservative donors had no doubt where he stood. With an eye toward the case before the Supreme Court that directly challenges Roe v. Wade, anti-choice groups flooded his campaign with over $1.4 million in cash.

In an attempt to distract voters from real issues, Youngkin pushed disinformation about book bansusing racism as a political strategy and weaponizing white fear. The results in Virginia confirm the need to redouble efforts across the country to eradicate white supremacy.

NARAL Pro-Choice America members are ready to hold Youngkin accountable for his extreme opposition to reproductive freedom for every body. Exit polls from the election showed that a large majority of Virginians (59%) support legal abortion in all or most cases. We won’t let Youngkin keep hiding from the 8 in 10 Americans who support the right to legal abortion. We’ll continue shining a spotlight on attacks on our rights while also advancing policies that protect reproductive freedom. 

In the 2022 cycle and beyond, NARAL and our members will continue to engage a broad and diverse coalition of voters, draw sharp contrasts with conservative extremists, and emphasize the issues at stake—while refusing to let racist propaganda and disinformation drive the conversation.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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