CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — One side is calling Monday’s decision to push the House Health Committee’s bill that calls for a total ban on abortion, “an unprecedented attack,” while the other side is saying that it is, “an exciting day.”
The West Virginia House Health Committee voted 16-6 to push their drafted abortion clarification bill to the Judiciary Committee for further debate.
The bill calls for a total ban on abortion along with making it illegal for doctors to perform abortions and also give out abortion medications. It says it will not punish the mother.
Advocates on both sides had opposite reactions to the proposed bill as well as Gov. Jim Justice’s call to add abortion to the special session at the 11th hour.
“This is an unprecedented attack that has happened behind closed doors and without notice to the public or stakeholders who are interested in protecting the reproductive health of West Virginia,” said Margaret Chapman Pomponio, Executive Editor at WV Free.
“I think it’s an exciting day for West Virginians,” said Karen Cross, Political Director of National Right to Life. “We are family-oriented and we protect both women and their babies.”
The only exceptions in the bill are for fetal anomalies, ectopic pregnancies and medical emergencies. Along with no exceptions for rape, incest or the patient’s mental health.
All of the Democrat amendments to ease the abortion restrictions were voted against, and the bill now moves to the Judiciary Committee. After that, it will be sent to the House floor to debate.
There will also be a joint Health-Judiciary Committee public hearing on this bill Wednesday, July 27 at 9 a.m. in the Capitol.
“We are calling on the public to let their legislator and governor know that this will not stand. And we do not want to go back to the 19th century and that’s exactly what this legislative body is trying to do,” Pomponio said.