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Thursday, March 30, 2023
ArlingtonOpinionEditorial: Could we lay off the abortion legislation in Va. this year?

Editorial: Could we lay off the abortion legislation in Va. this year?

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One of the beauties of divided government in the corridors of power in Richmond is that the extremes of neither side will be able to gain much traction.

But that, of course, doesn’t mean that those on the far left of the Democratic flank and far right among the GOP won’t be out pressing their social agendas, not out of any hope of getting them passed but largely to get their names before the faithful and use the exposure to try and raise campaign cash.

It’s wishful thinking, of course, but we’d hope the two sides could, if just for 2023, call a truce on the most contentious issue of our times: abortion.

The reality is that neither side has the ability to impose its will on the other in the 2023 General Assembly session. And frankly, the extremes on both parties (the no-exceptions view on the far social right and the anything-goes desires of those on the social left) are alienating to the public, of whom a large majority (a) wants a middle ground maintained and (b) wants less talk about the subject, not more.


Republicans managed to blow a gimme-putt in the 2022 national midterms in part because they were unable to enunciate a reasonable-to-most-people abortion position, instead allowing Democrats (abetted by friendly media) to make hay of the situation. For that act of political malpractice, the GOP got what it deserved.

No doubt Democrats will use the (perhaps remote) possibility of Republicans winning the state Senate in the fall – giving them both houses of the legislature plus the governorship – to scare their supporters both out to the polls, and long before that, to their checkbooks.

So, fine, extremes of both sides, have at it, but have at it after the General Assembly session is over in March, if you don’t mind.

There’s little chance of getting any legislation on abortion into law, so why not take a break and stop the showboating to your relatively narrow constituencies?

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