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RICHMOND, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) – Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is “cautiously optimistic” about enacting legislation to restrict abortion in the state, he said in an interview following last week’s disappointing-for-Republicans midterm elections.

“We are still working, and I’m cautiously optimistic,” Youngkin told WTOP, stressing that he is a  “pro-life governor.”

“I’m encouraged by the work that our leading legislators have made, and I do hope they can deliver a bill to my desk that would, in fact, restrict abortion after 15 weeks,” Youngkin continued, adding that such a bill would make exceptions for cases of “rape and incest and when the life of the mother is at risk.” The bill includes no such restrictions on abortion for babies prior to fifteen weeks.

“Virginians want fewer abortions, not more, and I think this is a good place for Virginia to land,” he said.

The Virginia General Assembly is currently divided between a Democrat Senate and Republican House of Delegates, complicating prospects for abortion restricting policies to reach the governor’s desk. 

READ: Democrats projected to keep control of the Senate

In July, Democrat state Sen. Louise Lucas, who heads the Senate Education and Health Committee, declared that a 15-week ban was “not going to get through my committee”; Republican state Del. Dave LaRock has suggested that more modest actions to promote choosing life stood better odds, such as making state funding for Virginia universities contingent on not committing abortions, denying family planning funds to entities that commit abortion, increasing funding for crisis pregnancy centers, and supporting adoption.

READ: Virginia bishops encourage faithful to support Gov. Youngkin’s move to secure parental rights

Youngkin rose to office on a wave of grassroots discontent over Democrats’ extreme stances on COVID-19 and education, which also delivered the Virginia House to Republican hands. Since then, he has pursued a conservative policy agenda, though in addition to the Democrat Senate he has had to contend with moderate-to-liberal GOP legislators undermining work on some of the issues he campaigned on.

Last month, a poll by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center found that 51% of Virginians would support banning abortion at 15 weeks, with rape and incest exceptions.