White House criticizes Youngkin over menstrual tracking bill

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The White House rebuked Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin this week for supporting state lawmakers' rejection of a bill that that would have prohibited police from issuing search warrants for digitized data about women’s menstrual cycles.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on Friday that the Republican governor's push to block the bill at a time when abortion access is diminishing “attacks the principles of freedom and a woman’s fundamental right to privacy," the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Virginia’s Democrat-controlled state Senate had passed the bill 31-9, with nine Republicans joining Democrats to send it to the House, where Republicans hold a majority. A Republican-controlled House subcommittee voted along party lines Monday to table the measure, with Youngkin’s support.

Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter defended the governor's position to the Times-Dispatch and said the data-gathering limits that Democrats had proposed were “unsafe.”

State Sen. Barbara Favola, an Arlington Democrat and the bill's sponsor, told the Times-Dispatch on Friday that the proposed measure was needed to protect women's privacy against the backdrop of “these very serious, very draconian abortion bans” nationwide.

Hers is among many hot-button bills that have been rejected this year by Virginia's divided legislature as the state prepares to vote this fall on all 140 General Assembly seats.