“Born-Alive” Bill easily passes West Virginia Senate Health Committee

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (HB 4007) passed out of the Senate Health Committee today on a near-unanimous vote. Senator Corey Palumbo was the lone dissenter in an 11-1 roll call vote.

The bill next heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee where passage would lead to three readings on the Senate floor and a final vote.

Meanwhile, in the House, HB 4007 was introduced on January 9 (only the second day of the 60-day session) and passed the House Health Committee with little dissension.

The bill continued its record pace six days later when the full House passed SB 231 by a 93-5 margin. This overwhelming support signaled the bipartisan flood of support that West Virginians for Life (WVFL) had hoped would be the case.

“We’re not surprised at the overwhelmingly bipartisan support of West Virginia’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” said WVFL Legislative Coordinator Karen Cross. “Anyone with a heart would provide care for tiny babies who survive abortions. It’s simple, compassionate, commonsense legislation. Nancy Pelosi and her entourage on the federal level should do the same.”

(All of West Virginia’s federal lawmakers voted for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Bill in the past. However, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, debate has been thwarted over 80 times).

The Born-Alive Bill will enact requirements that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital; and mandatory reporting of violations. The measure does not dictate bona fide medical judgments nor require futile measures. The bill, rather, requires that babies born alive during abortions are treated in the same manner as those who are spontaneously born prematurely.

It also calls for discipline and potential loss of license by the West Virginia Board of Medicine. In addition, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act provides a civil cause of action to women who are harmed by violations of the Act.

Governor Jim Justice has indicated that he will sign the Born-Alive Bill.

Lead sponsors of the bill are Senator Patricia Rucker and Delegate Ruth Rowan.