Fetal pain bill, banning abortions after 20 weeks in WV, takes e - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Fetal pain bill, banning abortions after 20 weeks in WV, takes effect

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A bill that harnessed some controversy before it passed the West Virginia Legislature became law May 26.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, House Bill 2568, passed the full WV Legislature Feb. 25 and was made effective 90 days from passage. The bill would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of conception.

On March 3, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the bill, citing constitutional concerns. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said if the bill would be taken to court, he would be ready to defend it.

Courts have blocked 20-week bans in at least three states. West Virginia previously had no time limit on performed abortions.

Tomblin's veto message reflected the same concerns he sent out in a veto response to a similar bill that passed the Legislature in 2014. Despite Tomblin's veto, this year, the GOP-led Legislature had the numbers to override any piece of legislation sent back within a reasonable time.

The WV House voted to override the veto by a vote of 77-16; the Senate's vote was 27-5.

The new law has exemptions if a mother's life is in danger but does not allow exemptions for abortions after 20 weeks in cases of rape or incest.
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