Over the weekend, ban on Dismemberment Abortions in West Virginia takes effect

By Dave Andrusko

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Hat’s off to West Virginians for Life who reminded pro-lifers that it was not until Sunday that the state’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act actually took effect.

The law passed in early February was vetoed March 9 by Earl Ray Tomblin and then promptly overridden by the legislature the following day by overwhelming margins– 25-9 in the Senate, 85-15 in the House. But the effective date was Sunday, May 29, which was 90 days after passage.

Meanwhile, Louisiana’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act is sitting on the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards. It is already on the books in Kansas and Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi and Alabama.

Moreover, the bill has been introduced in Idaho, Missouri, and Nebraska. It is expected to be introduced in several other states as well.

As NRL News Today reported, the bill garnered 100% support from women senators and 83% from women delegates in West Virginia.

SB 10 outlaws a form of abortion that “dismember[s] a living unborn child and extract[s] him or her one piece at a time from the uterus.” A number of West Virginia’s obstetrician-gynecologists said that in their decades of practice this procedure has never been necessary.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said that if SB 10 is challenged in court, he will defend it.

Mary Spaudling Balch, JD, director, NRLC Department of State Legislation

Mary Spaudling Balch, JD, director, NRLC Department of State Legislation

Referring to Gov. Tomblin’s veto, Karen Cross, legislative coordinator for West Virginians for Life (WVFL) said, “We at West Virginians for Life were not surprised because this was his third veto of pro-life legislation in as many years. What did surprise us is that despite a huge bipartisan majority in both houses, Governor Tomblin vetoed legislation that simply says we won’t dismember a living, fully formed unborn child by removing her limb from limb while she’s alive.”

WVFL President Wanda Franz commented, “We are extremely grateful for the pro-life leadership and legislators for voting to protect West Virginia’s unborn children from this barbaric dismemberment procedure.”

Added National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., “When the national debate focuses only on the mother, it is forgetting someone.” Banning dismemberment abortion, Balch said, “has the potential to transform the debate when people realize that living unborn children are being killed by being torn limb from limb.”