The state of West Virginia has overwhelmingly passed a sweeping abortion ban in both the state Senate and the House.
The bill now heads to the Republican governor’s desk to be signed into law:
Via The Hill:
West Virginia’s legislature approved a sweeping abortion ban on Tuesday, only allowing the procedure in cases of medical emergencies, rape and incest.
The bill, known as HB 302, will now head to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice (R), who called a special session of the legislature in July to “clarify and modernize” the state’s abortion laws in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
The legislation, which passed in the state Senate 22-7 and passed in the state House 77-17 Tuesday, will go into effect 90 days after passing.
The legislation would ban abortion entirely unless a patient who is pregnant was a victim of rape or incest, informed a law enforcement agency and receives the procedure before 8 weeks into the pregnancy. Minors who are victims of rape or incest would have until 14 weeks of pregnancy, if they report it to law enforcement and receive medical treatment from a licensed professional or hospital.
The bill would also allow abortions for “medical emergencies” and if the fetus is not medically viable.
Outside of the exceptions, the one thing odd about the bill is that there are no criminal penalties for doctors who perform illegal abortions, other than potentially losing their medical license.
But there are criminal penalties for anyone other that a licensed professional performing an abortion:
The final text of the bill ultimately removed criminal penalties for medical providers, though they could still lose their license. Anyone other than a licensed professional, including nurses and physician assistants, who perform an abortion could face years in prison.
Murder is murder is murder. There certainly should be criminal consequences for murdering an unborn baby.
That said, the bill is very restrictive on the exceptions and it’s good in the most important ways. So it’s certainly better than no bill at all.