WASHINGTON – By a vote of 29-5, the West Virginia state Senate today gave final approval to HB 2568, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – a bill that protects unborn children from violent abortions after the point at which they are capable of feeling pain.
The state House of Delegates passed the bill 88-12 on February 11, which included the support of two-thirds of the House Democrats. The bill now goes to Governor Tomblin. If signed, West Virginia would be the eleventh state to enact this legislation, which is based on a model bill from National Right to Life.
The West Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would generally protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children from being killed by abortion. If it becomes law, the bill would protect unborn children from 20 weeks fetal age, based on legislative findings that there is compelling evidence that an unborn child by that point (if not earlier) is capable of experiencing excruciating pain during the process of dismemberment or other abortion procedures.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has indicated that he will veto the measure, though pro-life forces led by West Virginians for Life vowed to seek an override if he does.
“West Virginia has taken an important step in protecting its most vulnerable members of the human family,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., National Right to Life director of state legislation. “Now West Virginians must rise up and tell the governor ‘No more. No longer will our state tolerate the brutal and painful killing of unborn children.’ It is a travesty for Governor Tomblin to threaten to veto legislation that embodies common sense and basic decency.”
Across the country, eight states have the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in effect: Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, and Texas
“Pain-capable unborn children should be protected from the violent act of a dismemberment abortion, or whatever twisted method the abortion industry has cooked up this week,” Balch added. “In our upside-down society, most animals have more rights than unborn members of the human family. We are thankful the West Virginia legislature has recognized their solemn duty in protecting the lives of the most vulnerable.”