McAuliffe, GOP trade blows over abortion measures

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Wednesday state lawmakers passed a resolution called “Day of Tears” meant to recognize all the abortions since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade. Some Republican lawmakers are also pushing to ban abortions past 20 weeks when they say a fetus can feel pain. Thursday, during a news conference at the Capitol, the governor blasted the measures saying it’s making it harder to attract businesses to the state.

“They’re not in these economic development meetings with me. They are not there when I get questions about these women’s issues, about these HB 2 issues. They’re not in the room. I’m there and I can tell you it’s concerning to future employers who may move to Virginia,” said McAuliffe. “When you pass these resolutions and this legislation it sends a signal that we are not open and welcoming.”

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McAuliffe said that if any bill aimed at banning abortions makes it to his desk it will hit a wall.

“I have made it very clear I will veto it. That bill has zero chance of becoming law here in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said McAuliffe.

8News spoke with proponents of the bill who said they thought the governor might be overreacting.

“Seemed a little hasty that he promised to veto it without probably reading it,” said Delegate Dave LaRock, R-Clarke County.

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Meanwhile, other Republicans fired back at the governor and members of the Democratic party.

“I remember a day when the Democratic party used to say it should be legal, safe and rare … and they’ve abandoned that narrative. Now it’s something that it’s almost worthy of celebration,” said Delegate Nick Reitas, R-Culpeper.

Republicans say McAuliffe’s criticisms come from the millions of dollars donated to his campaign from the abortion industry, accusing his policies of hurting Virginia’s economy more than anything else.

“He’s doing nothing to help the small businessman across the commonwealth and those are the things that actually help get our economy moving again,” said Delegate Ben Cline, R-Amherst County.

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