WASHINGTON – Earlier today West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed HB 2568, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Both the state House of Delegates and the state Senate approved the bill overwhelmingly in February. This is the second time in two years that Tomblin has vetoed such legislation, citing misguided advice about its constitutionality.
“In vetoing of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Governor Tomblin has abandoned West Virginia’s unborn children,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias.”Governor Tomblin’s veto plays politics with the lives of unborn children. He is certainly not a pro-life governor and should no longer claim to be.”
The West Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would generally protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children from being killed by abortion. 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 Tomblin cannot claim to be pro-life and then veto a bill that seeks to protect unborn children who can feel pain from abortions,” added Karen Cross, National Right to Life political director.”Unborn children who recoil from painful stimuli and who must routinely be given anesthesia when operated on will still be painfully killed in West Virginia because of the callousness demonstrated by Governor Tomblin.”
The legislation is based on a National Right to Life model bill that is currently in effect in eight states across the country: Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas.
“A substantial majority supports protecting pain-capable unborn children,” Tobias added.”Governor Tomblin has now shown he’s clearly in the pro-abortion minority that wants to continue the current policy of abortion on demand.”
Some of the extensive evidence that unborn children have the capacity to experience pain, at least by 20 weeks developmental age, is available on the NRLC website and also here.