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West Va. Legislature Passes 20 Week Abortion Limit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2014
Contact: Mallory Quigley: 202-223-8073
Pro-life Group Urges Sen. Joe Manchin to Follow State’s Lead, Become First Democratic Co-Sponsor of Federal Bill
Washington, D.C – Over the weekend, the Democratic-controlled West Virginia state senate passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The legislation, which protects unborn children beginning at 20 weeks (more than halfway through pregnancy), passed by a vote of 29 to 5 with the support of 19 Democrats. The West Virginia legislation previously passed the Democratic-controlled state house by a vote of 79 to 17 with the support of 33 Democrats, following some controversy.
The bill now sits on the desk of Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, who describes himself as pro-life.
Pro-life groups are applauding the measure and calling on U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who says he is pro-life, to co-sponsor the related federal legislation, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 1670). To date, S.1670 has 40 cosponsors, none of them Democrats.
“West Virginia will soon become the latest state to pass legislation to protect unborn children from the painful death of abortion after 20 weeks – more than halfway through pregnancy,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Momentum is growing for this popular measure to move forward in Washington as well, where Senate Democrats should take a cue from their West Virginia counterparts. We encourage Senator Joe Manchin to embrace his self-avowed pro-life position and become the first Democratic cosponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. If Majority Leader Reid, who has also called himself pro-life in the past, intends to make good on his promise to ‘take a look’ at this compassionate measure, now is the time. The majority of Americans – and women in even higher numbers than men – support this law.”
“The Family Policy Council is thrilled to be one of the voices in the growing conservative choir in West Virginia's fight for the lives of the pre-born. We believe that we are witnessing a bona fide miracle with the imminent passage of the first abortion-limiting bill in our state’s history,” said Allen Whitt, president of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. “At the beginning of this legislative session we could not have dreamed that we could move a pro-life bill to the governor’s desk. Now, we are making history. Thankfully the Republican leadership, the minority party for 82 years, pushed the bill to the forefront of debate. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
Scientific evidence shows that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain by 20 weeks of life. Last year national polling by Quinnipiac, National Journal, Huffington Post, NBC/Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post/ABC News all found that a plurality or majority of Americans support limiting abortion after 20 weeks gestation and that women support the measure in higher proportions than men.
The Susan B. Anthony List, is dedicated to pursuing policies and electing candidates who will reduce and ultimately end abortion. To that end, the SBA List emphasizes the education, promotion, mobilization, and election of pro-life women. The SBA List is a network of more than 365,000 pro-life Americans nationwide.