West Virginia becomes the first Democrat-controlled state to pass a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of conception, on the basis that fetuses can feel pain.
The House passed the bill 85-15.
Ten other states have passed similar bans, but each one was passed by a Republican-led state legislature.
Governor Tomblin says he's concerned the bill could be unconstitutional.
We have reaction from both sides of the issue.
“The 20-week ban that passed out of the legislature and landed on the governor's desk is a dangerous and deeply unpopular bill,” says Melissa Reed, VP of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Health Systems Action Fund. “And in addition to that it's an unconstitutional bill and the cost to state taxpayers to defend this bill will run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“We just believe that this should be standard that the people of West Virginia should expect from their law that we would provide protection in a compassionate society for these innocent children,” says Dr. Wanda Franz, president of West Virginians for Life. “Our bill recognizes that the need for protection begins at 20 weeks in utero when these children begin to feel pain and when an abortion would be brutal.”
Now it's up to the governor to decide if he wants to sign it into law.