Pro-life Democrat Morrissey discusses abortion views, religion

If the decision is kicked to the states, Sen. Morrissey says he doesn’t support a full ban on abortions
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 12:02 PM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2022 at 1:07 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - From his south Richmond office, State Sen. Joe Morrissey shared his views on abortion.

“As a Catholic, I am personally opposed to abortion but I don’t think Catholicism should be telling, ever be allowed to tell, other people what they can do,” said Morrissey, D-16th District.

Morrissey is a Catholic and a pro-life Democrat.

The Virginia General Assembly is set to return in January for its legislative session. By then, we should know how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on abortion rights in the country.

“I think one of the considerations has got to be fetal pain. If a fetus can feel pain, that may be the marker when you, up to where abortion is allowed. And whether that’s 20 or 20 plus weeks, we need to, all the legislators need to, hear scientific evidence,” said Morrissey.

If the decision is kicked to the states, Morrissey says he doesn’t support a full ban on abortions. But the lawmaker also says attempts to allow abortion through the third trimester should not be allowed.

Morrissey would be a critical vote in the Senate, where Democrats have slim power and the ability to block any restrictive legislation coming from the GOP-controlled House.

“There’s a considerable decrease in support for abortion in the second trimester but where it really craters is in the third trimester,” said Rich Anderson, Virginia GOP chairman.

Lawmakers haven’t signaled what legislation they may file around the abortion issue for next year. Morrissey expects to see a lot of data and testimony. He says he will listen to the doctors and the scientists and the women.

“There’s a lot of uncharted airspace that’s being flown right now and state legislatures, if it’s kicked back to the states, are going to have to address this one way or another,” said Anderson.

A measure earlier this year by Republican lawmakers to ban abortions in Virginia at 20 weeks failed.

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