WASHINGTON — Virginia was once at the forefront of anti-abortion efforts, going to the Supreme Court to defend its right to prosecute a newspaper publisher for running an ad promoting abortion.

But today, Democrats are betting that voters in the modern-day Old Dominion will keep them in the governor’s office to defend abortion rights after the Supreme Court tipped its hand on the hot-button issue Wednesday.

From Virginia to California, Democrats are trying to motivate voters as the expanded conservative majority on the court inches closer to limiting or overturning the right to terminate a pregnancy for the first time in nearly half a century. It is a glimpse into America’s shifting politics on abortion, which have typically energized conservatives more.

Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and the former governor of Virginia who is running for a second term, was already airing TV ads about abortion before the court allowed Texas’ strict…

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