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West Virginia has been on a dubious list for a very long time. We were one of just 9 states that had not one single law limiting abortion in any way. What that meant is that anyone could abort a child for any reason up to the moment of birth in West Virginia. And yet West Virginia has always been held as one of the most pro-life states in the country. It doesn’t make any sense.
But the state changed all that by becoming one of 11 states to pass a 20 week abortion bill. This means that abortions beyond the 20 week period without significant medical reason are now illegal. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a significant step in the right direction in defending the most vulnerable West Virginians.
Despite being vetoed twice by our “pro-life” governor, the State Legislature did the right thing in overriding Gov. Tomblins veto and making sure this important piece of legislation was passed. Now it has become law and West Virginians can be proud of the work of their legislature.
A recent article comments on this new law:
Despite being vetoed last year, and then again this year, the West Virginia legislature has successfully overrode Gov. Tomblin’s veto to pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This means West Virginia now has it’s first abortion limiting law on the books. West Virginia was previously one of just nine states with not a single abortion limiting law in place. That meant a woman could get an abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth. Considering the fact that a vast majority of West Virginians are pro-life – that was simply not acceptable.
We were all disappointed when our “pro-life” governor vetoed this bill last year; a decision that told us all we need to know about where Tomblin stands on the issue of life. After a second veto this year, no one in West Virginia will ever wonder about Tomblin’s position or whether he will defend life – he won’t.
National Right to Life made the following comment concerning the legislature’s override:
“In a 27-5 vote, the West Virginia state Senate today joined with the state House of Delegates in voting to override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 2568), legislation that protects unborn children from abortion at the point that they are able to feel pain. Tomblin’s veto came after the state House of Delegates and the state Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill in February. The legislature’s successful override of Gov. Tomblin’s veto means that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will go into effect in 90 days.”
Another article wrote:
Gov. Tomblin – claiming to be pro-life – once again vetoed a bill that would make abortion after 20 weeks illegal. Currently, West Virginia is one of just 9 states that has no abortion limiting laws. In other words, a woman can get an abortion anytime up to the moment of birth for any reason in West Virginia. Ironically, most West Virginians are pro-life. But, we have elected leaders like Gov. Tomblin that claims to be pro-life but then vetoes pro-life bills. But, this story may have a happy ending after all.
A recent article reports that the West Virginia House of Delegates has overwhelmingly voted to override the Governor’s veto:
“The West Virginia state House overwhelmingly overrode a veto issued by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin of a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy on unborn babies who studies show can feel intense pain. Tomblin, who claims to be pro-life, has twice vetoed the pro-life legislation to protect unborn babies. The House voted 77-16 (7 not voting) to override the veto of HB 2568 and the state Senate is expected to follow suit.”
I applaud our delegates for doing what is right by protecting the most innocent and defenseless West Virginians. It’s a shame that our governor doesn’t have the moral fortitude to do the same, but I hope (and pray) the State Senate will follow the House example and override Tomblin’s veto.
Where does this leave Tomblin? Well, I heartily agree with pro-life leaders that expressed their disappointment with Tomblin’s veto:
Once again, West Virginia lawmakers have listened to the voice of West Virginians, and the pulse of Americans nationwide, by overwhelmingly supporting – and passing, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This is a common sense measure intended to protect unborn children capable of feeling pain from being tortured via abortion.
A recent article states:
“By a vote of 29-5, the West Virginia state Senate today gave final approval to HB 2568, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – a bill that protects unborn children from violent abortions after the point at which they are capable of feeling pain. The state House of Delegates passed the bill 88-12 on February 11, which included the support of two-thirds of the House Democrats.”
According to Alliance Alert: West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler (D) today added more pressure to the call for a special session to address the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the bill that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) vetoed at the end of the regular session in March.
Appearing today on MetroNews “Talkline,” Kessler said, “We have a pro-life majority in leadership and I think we can get this issue addressed and put it behind us and move on to other topics that also need to be addressed.”
Gov. Tomblin has said he would again veto the bill, arguing it is unconstitutional. House Speaker Tim Miley again brought up cost. “I don’t believe West Virginia taxpayers will understand why lawmakers would be so eager to quickly return to Charleston at great expense to attempt to pass legislation destined for a long legal battle and a very uncertain future,” he said.
Kessler rebutted both contentions in his appearance on Talkline. Had he thought the law was unconstitutional, Kessler said he wouldn’t have voted for it in the first place.
“Kessler argued the bill already has overwhelming support among legislators and just needs another chance to pass,” according to reporter Shauna Johnson of West Virginia Metro News. Kessler said, “We are going to have a pain capable bill. That’s a given.”
Over the last few days West Virginia governor Earl Ray Tomblin has been in the news quite a bit. His claim to fame is that he vetoed the 20 week abortion ban last Friday. Tomblin, a “pro-life” governor said the bill was unconstitutional. I guess the other states and the U.S. House of Representatives that passed similar bills should have consulted with Tomblin’s legal team.
Joining Gov. Tomblin in the halls of shame this week is West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. Manchin is also a self-proclaimed “pro-life” politician that is coming under fire for not becoming a sponsor of the federal 20 week abortion ban. An article at LifeNews.com explains:
“To put pressure on Manchin to support the bill, the SBA List today informed LifeNews of a $20,000 radio ad buy encouraging Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia to become the first Democratic senator to cosponsor the federal Pain Capable Unborn Child Act. The legislation would protect unborn children beginning at 20 weeks – more than halfway through pregnancy. Similar laws have been passed in 13 states. The federal bill passed the U.S. House and has more than 40 Senate cosponsors.”
Having more than 40 co-sponsors in the Senate is encouraging and gives hope for the bills hearing and passage. But it does not guarantee anything will come of it. Gov. Tomblin proved that when the West Virginia bill gained an overwhelming bi-partisan support only to have Tomblin veto the bill.
Once again West Virginia finds itself in the un-enviable position of having lawmakers in the news for all the wrong reasons. Republicans and Democrats came together to pass a life saving bill only to have our “pro-life” governor veto it. And our “pro-life” Senator won’t sign on to another life saving bill in the Senate. At some point we have to stop listening to what our candidates say and start paying attention to what they do. The next time Tomblin and Manchin claim to be pro-life the audience needs to laugh and remind them of their voting records.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will have a hard time convincing anyone that he’s pro-life from this point forward. News broke late last night that Gov. Tomblin vetoed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act after he doubted the bills constitutionality.
This bill, HB 4588, also known as the 20 week abortion ban, would have made it illegal to perform an abortion after 20 weeks gestation. That is the point at which most doctors and scientists agree that an unborn child can certainly feel pain. This fact means that abortion after 20 weeks is nothing short of torture as the pain capable unborn child is being torn limb from limb and can feel everything.
It was a surprise that the bill even made it out of committee and found a hearing in the legislature considering the Democratic majority and the hurdles placed before it. Nonetheless HB 4588 was voted on and passed in the house and senate by overwhelming bi-partisan majorities. This should have made the bill very easy for Gov. Tomblin to sign, considering the super-majority of state senators and delegates that supported it.
Last week Gov. Tomblin vetoed the Unborn Pain Capable Child Protection Bill (HB 4588) saying it was unconstitutional. Never mind that the bill passed in 10 other states and even the U.S. House of Representatives, Tomblin’s legal team advised him that the bill was problematic.
And article this morning at the Daily Caller quotes Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser regarding the incident:
“This high profile hypocrisy is producing justified outrage in West Virginia and across the nation. Shame on Governor Tomblin for turning his back on unborn children and women by vetoing a compassionate, common sense limit passed with overwhelming bipartisan support…This bill has passed in 10 other states and even the U.S. House of Representatives – none of which considered the bill to be unconstitutional, as the Governor claimed. I believe this was the plan of the Democratic Leadership in West Virginia all along, to allow the bill to pass so their vulnerable Democrat members could vote pro-life before an important election and then have lame-duck Governor veto the bill. That’s not leadership.”
I couldn’t agree more with that assessment as the only plausible explanation for the weak, barely there “unconstitutional” reason for the veto. My contention is simple, if Gov. Tomblin was truly pro-life he would eagerly sign the bill and let the courts decide if it was constitutional or not. His primary goal would be protecting the unborn. If his primary goal is his own career, and creating a sound bite for fellow Democrats up for re-election, veto the bill. By doing so he tells national Democrats – of which I believe Tomblin wants to join in Washington – that he will be a “team player” on the issue. He gives Democrats in the state legislature a good talking point on the campaign trail and once again the desires of the people of West Virginia are ignored.
Tell Gov. Tomblin if you agree with his decision. Let him know if you will or will not support him should he decide to run for federal office. Personally, if he won’t defend the unborn here in West Virginia there is no reason to believe he will do so in Washington. That’s not a candidate I can support.
Contact the Office of Gov. Tomblin.
This is not only important for Texas and the lives that will be saved there, this is important for West Virginia as well.
Right now Gov. Tomblin is still waiting to sign the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that passed in the state legislature earlier this month. The bill passed with an overwhelming bi-partisan majority that should have made it a no-brainer for the governor to sign. And yet he is waiting, and hedging, saying that he is concerned about the “constitutionality” of the bill.
Those concerns should have been relieved when the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group, sent a letter to Gov. Tomblin assuring him of the constitutionality of the bill. Now that the Texas law, which is must more stringent in its legal scope than the West Virginia law, has been upheld yet again as constitutional, there is really no reason for Gov. Tomblin not to sign the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. That is, unless his claim to be pro-life is little more than a campaign slogan.
Lifenews.com: Over the weekend the West Virginia House and Senate put the finishing touches on a hugely important bill. If Gov. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signs HB 4588– The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act– West Virginia’s unborn babies, who can feel pain, will be protected from abortion. If there is not a compelling state interest in protecting unborn children from such a hideous death, what would qualify?
If Gov. Tomblin signs the bill into law, West Virginia will join ten other states and the United States House of Representatives that have passed similar bills. If Governor Tomblin signs the bill into law, he will be recognizing what huge majorities in both the House and Senate saw clearly. That HB 4588 is grounded in a moral empathy that resonates loudly with the people of West Virginia: “You don’t kill unborn children who are capable of feeling pain.” If Governor Tomblin signs the bill into law, he will be doing the right thing.