This past Tuesday, the legislators of West Virginia pushed through a bill that seeks to ban abortions with very limited exceptions.
The legislation pushed through the state’s Senate with a vote of 22-7 and through the House with a vote of 77-17 and is now on the way to the desk of Republican Gov. Jim Justice, who has expressed already that he plans to sign the bill into law.
The bill would seek the banning of all abortion except for specific cases where the fetus or embryo is entirely nonviable, a medical emergency exists, the pregnancy is ectopic, or within eight weeks of a pregnancy stemming from a sexual assault or invest for an adult or over 14 weeks for a child.
The new law would also include a set of criminal penalties for anyone who carries out an abortion without possessing a full medical license or at a location that has not been approved.
Once the bill has been officially signed, it will replace the current ban from the state after a period of 20 weeks, which went into effect back in July in the wake of a judge blocking a pre- Roe ban from back in the nineteenth century. The choice allowed the only abortion clinic in the state to start back up its services at the time.
Tera Salango, a circuit judge for Kanawha County, issued a ruling that the laws for the state were in conflict, leaving the need to add clarification for the current situation.
“It simply does not matter if you are pro-choice or pro-life,” she stated. “Every citizen in this state has a right to clearly know the laws under which they are expected to live.”
This new piece of legislation received its approval overwhelmingly as an updated measure, though many pro-abortion advocates have called out the effort. The public affairs director for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Alisa Clements, spoke up against the bill as part of a Tuesday statement.
“There is nothing more extreme than a law that strips people of the freedom to govern their own bodies, and our state lawmakers have shamefully forced this despicable bill down our throats, behind closed doors in a matter of hours,” expressed Clements.
The bill out of West Virginia was able to pass the exact same day that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stepped forward with an announcement about a bill that would ban abortions across the country after the 15-week mark.
This new bill, which has been labeled the “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act,” was officially announced as part of a press conference held on Tuesday out in Washington, D.C.
“I see this as a responsible alternative to the very radical position by Democratic senators,” stated Graham. “I can assure that a vast majority of Americans do not support abortion on demand up to delivery.”
The legislation for the state also comes in the wake of an increasing number of laws seeking to further restrict abortion after the decision from the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade took place back in June and handed the power to handle abortion laws back to the individual states.