West Virginia Lawmakers Ready to Override Governor Veto – If Necessary
West Virginia did something historic last fall when citizens of the state changed the color of the legislature from blue to red. It has been 80 years since Republicans had a majority voice in the state house. But citizens made their displeasure with current leadership clear when many Democratic incumbents were ousted in favor of Republican challengers. The same trend carried to federal races where two long-time Democratic congressional seats were won by Republicans.
After this historic “West Virginia Red Wave” the question on everyone’s mind was “will Republicans take advantage of this opportunity and actually do something?”
It seems the answer to that question is becoming clearer concerning one of the most pressing issues in our state.
West Virginia is one of just 9 states that have absolutely no abortion laws. An unborn child can be aborted up to the moment of birth for any reason in the state of West Virginia despite the fact that most of our residents identify as pro-life. The fact that ur state is primarily pro-life can also be seen in the fact that most of our elected officials are pro-life; even many among the Democratic party. West Virginians value life.
But last year when a bi-partisan majority in the state legislature passed our version of the pain capable unborn child protection act, our “pro-life” governor vetoed it. Gov. Tomblin said simply that he thought it was unconstitutional and therefore vetoed it.
I guess Gov. Tomblin wasn’t aware that similar bills have been passed in Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, North Dakota, and Texas. And some of these laws have even withstood judicial challenge. I suppose those pesky facts were not important in the governor’s decision making process.
Thankfully, this year, led by Del. David Perry (D) the pain capable bill is coming back for another vote. The difference of course is that the state legislature has the simple majority needed to override a veto by Gov. Tomblin. Del. Perry said:
“I feel very confident that the bill will pass this session. Whether the governor signs it into law or not, one thing I think we have this year is we have the ability to override his veto.”
West Virginians for Life president Wanda Franz reiterated the need for a bill like this to pass and be signed into law:
“The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will protect West Virginia’s unborn babies, who can feel pain, and asserts a compelling state interest in protecting the unborn child from pain. Scientific research demonstrates that unborn babies can feel pain beginning by at least 20 weeks after conception. It is important that West Virginia has asserted its legitimate concern for the well-being of these innocent babies by protecting them from pain.”
This sentiment could easily be applied to the federal pain capable unborn child protection act that was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives at the last minute before receiving a vote. Many pro-lifers across the country were understandably outraged that the bill was pulled just hours before the 42nd annual March for Life. Some reactions include:
“Saddened & disgusted by the pulling of the Pain Capable Abortion act (sic) by the GOP. Hoping it’s not a sign of cowardice #Whenpoliticskills.” Pastor Matt Chandler
“Those of us who support the protection of the unborn were heartened to hear of the upcoming vote in the House of Representatives that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks. But now we’ve learned the bill has been pulled by the GOP leadership over some of the legislation’s language. Rather than have a public fight on the floor of the House, leadership has chosen to cancel the vote altogether. We’re obviously disheartened and disappointed by this development.” Focus on the Family President Jim Daly
“I am disgusted by this act of moral cowardice. If the House Republicans cannot pass something as basic as restricting the abortion of five-month, pain-capable unborn children, what can they get done?” SBC ERLC President Russell Moore
This is the simple reality: unborn children at 20 weeks gestation are capable of feeling any and all pain, making abortion beyond that point nothing less than cruel torture and murder. Any efforts to dismiss scientific reality or diminish the truth present here is a denial of an ever growing body of scientific evidence to the contrary.
My very sincere hope and desire is that West Virginia will pass this bill and see it signed into law. But also that a similar federal law would be passed and abortion after 20 weeks would be recognized for the inhuman torture it is and forever banned.
If we as a society cannot support such legislation it will be because our moral compass has been so damaged by secular humanist ideology that we can’t see injustice when it’s right before our eyes. This may be one of the greatest civil rights battles we’ve ever faced; and it’s one we cannot afford to lose.