West Va. House Passes 20 Week Abortion Limit Following Uproar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2014
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 – This morning the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) praised the Democratic-controlled West Virginia state house for passing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act last night. The legislation protects unborn children beginning at 20 weeks, or more than halfway through pregnancy. Scientific evidence shows that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain by 20 weeks of life. The group called on the State Senate to pass the legislation immediately.

The legislation, which passed 79 to 17 with the support of 33 Democrats, was originally defeated by Democrats by a vote of 48 to 48 on February 11 when Minority Leader Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha) made the motion to Discharge the Committee and bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the floor. Democrats then introduced their own bill following uproar from pro-life activists across the state and a contentious Democratic caucus meeting which, according to local media reports included “yelling and screaming, and even delegates concerned that fisticuffs might break out.”

“The West Virginia House joined a swift moving popular movement to protect unborn children from the painful death of abortion after 20 weeks – that’s more than halfway through pregnancy,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The majority of Americans – and women in higher numbers than men – support this measure. We are especially thankful to the five Democratic women representatives who, bucking pressure from the abortion lobby, voted for this compassionate, pro-woman legislation.”

The SBA List also called on U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who says he is pro-life, to co-sponsor related federal legislation, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 1670), introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). To date, S.1670 has 40 cosponsors, none of them Democrats.

“The Democratic Party has a history of protecting vulnerable Americans. Senator Manchin has an opportunity to reclaim that heritage by becoming the first Democratic cosponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” continued Dannenfelser.

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.



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