CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill that would ban abortions in West Virginia after the 20 week mark in a pregnancy is advancing through the House of Delegates.

Supporters of the bill say it’s designed to protect unborn children or fetuses who, they maintain, can feel pain after that point in development.

On Monday, the House Health and Human Resources Committee advanced HB 4588 on a voice vote with no discussion.

That bill was next scheduled to go to the House Judiciary Committee, but House Health Committee Chairman Don Perdue (D-Wayne, 19,) said he would request the proposal, instead, go directly to the House floor.

The bill is similar to HB 2364.  An attempt to bring that legislation directly to the House floor last week failed with a 48-48 vote and reportedly lead to a contentious, hours-long private Democratic caucus meeting.

Perdue said it was a procedural vote that did not kill the bill.  “It was used for political fodder and that’s what’s wrong with that.  If you can win the day, win the day,” he said.

On Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Perdue raised questions about the legality of the proposal.

“The problem I’ve got with the bill isn’t necessarily what it’s intent is.  The problem I’ve got with the bill is that its history has been shown it’s unconstitutional everywhere they’ve tried to do it,” he said.

The proposal includes civil and criminal punishments for violations of the ban.  Such actions would be a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and not less than a year in a state correctional facility.  The pregnant woman would not be charged or fined.

Exceptions are provided in the legislation for abortions needed after 20 weeks because of a medical emergency.

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  • WVU Grad Student

    I hope this doesn't pass.

  • Independent View

    Abortion is somehow right, correct and acceptable in our society?
    This debate can be synthesized into one of the biggest problems facing American Society. A lack of accepting responsibility for one's actions! Many, many, do not want to accept responsibility for their actions. Welfare mothers that have 6-10 or more kids, not knowing or caring who the fathers may be or choosing not to name them to prevent a state's human resource program from forcing them to provide child support. Or, if a welfare mother has a covey of kids then, her argument to the welfare office is "I can't work because I have 6, 8, 10 kids!" So, she is on welfare her entire life and many of her children see this as acceptable behavior and the generational pattern of welfare payments, Food Stamps, SSI, Section 8 Housing, etc., etc.,continues. If a woman does not want to become pregnant because it is somehow inconvenient, yet, it was convenient to have unprotected sexual relations to produce that pregancy then, they had two choices abstenence or birth control. Either of these seems a much more intelligent decision than abortion and this debate would not be raging in America.

  • Rsgweed

    What concerns me is the lack of concern for a human baby. Why cannot people see that it is murder? We have become so enured to a low opinion of human life, that we cannot see abortion for what it is. Our culture now puts little value on life as can be seen in our movies, TV and video games. I'm over 65, and waiting for the day they tell me that I am no longer productive in society, so I have to be put down like a dog. I see it coming.

  • Pickle Barrel

    Unconstitutional? Yes, let's talk about the unconstitutional Democrat witch hunt bill on the AG requiring him to ask permission from the Governor, House and Senate before filing amicus briefs.

  • rick

    Abortion is at it's lowest rate since 1972. If you don't want one don't have one but don't make it illegal for those who do want or need one. I remember a time when it was illegal and you had scared girls getting on buses for other States where it was legal.

  • JTF

    So Dems fail to advance this particular pro life bill in 2012, 2013 and in 2014 session. On 2/11/14 vote to move this bill to the floor for consideration fails on a tie vote 48 to advance it (46Rs and 2Ds) and 48 to NOT advance it (all 48 of these votes are Ds).

    Groups in WV (and they vote) who favor the advancing this bill (HB 2364) start to go after the 48 Ds who voted against bringing this bill to the floor for consideration. Stuff hits the fan. Dems scramble.

    So 6 days later on 2/17/14, the Democrats introduced a brand new bill HB 4588 that does same thing as HB 2364. And HB 4588 was introduced, referred to the Health and Human Resources committee, put on the agenda, and passed by the committee, all in one day. The bill gets taken up by a committee the same day it is introduced. Highly unusual.

    Why write a whole new bill? Well, HB 2364 had 9 D and 2 R sponsors. But the new bill that was introduced has 11 D and 0 R sponsors. The two R sponsors were replaced two more D sponsors. I bet these two specific new D sponsors must need some help in getting them over the finish line on election day.

    Hey, I saw what you did there.

    Dems playing hardball. Guess who is currently holding onto the majoirty by a slim 53 to 47 margin? Guess who cannot afford to have some of theirs fall in November. Guess who will claim ownership of having this bill pass the House?

    Will the public be fooled? Stay tuned.

  • wvu999

    Let ye cast the first stone
    Unless of course
    You're holier than thou then cast away all day every day
    No sin is greater than another unless youre Christian then u in get to pick and choose.

    • mntr bob

      999, fyi, there is one unforgivable sin.

    • Leroy j Gibbs

      You pick and choose your verses and I will pick and choose mine. Honestly I try not to judge people. Hate to see women put into these positions to have to make that choice .that's between them and God

      • DWM

        Are you saying it is between the woman and God whether she kills the baby? I thought that's what you were saying but it didn't make sense.

        I can see it know, "your honor, I did kill that man because he made me mad, but I believe that was between me and God".

        • Leroy j Gibbs

          If society is not stepping in to police this then it will have to be up to God

      • wvu999

        You don't want an abortion but your faith and political party don't believe in social programs. Can't have it both ways.

        • bac

          What about just not getting pregnant? Or paying for your own children if you have them? Or, if you don't want them, putting them up for adoption? Those methods worked for thousands of years, but now the Democrats want to encourage killing these unborn babies. It's an absolute disgrace, America's Holocaust.

        • Leroy j Gibbs

          Adoption is a social program that is available but that would be too hard..let's just take the easy way out. That's your political party line

          • Jason412

            No, that's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying that you shouldn't act like if a woman decides to have her baby over an abortion that the baby will automatically be adopted.

            I've said before, if the foster care system wasn't in shambles I would more then likely be completely pro-life.

          • Leroy j Gibbs

            So you are saying all those foster children wish they were murdered in the womb? I don't think so

          • Jason412

            Yeah, because all kids get adopted.

            Currently, about 100,000 kids in the US waiting for adoption.

            20,000 that age out of foster care every year, after being bounced from foster home to foster home their entire lives, without ever being adopted.

            3,000-4,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted in WV alone.

            How many children have you adopted Leroy?

          • wvu999

            So you've adopted how many children? I would assume a few to keep from being a hypocrite

  • Leroy j Gibbs

    First corinthian 6:19 if you dare

    • Leroy j Gibbs

      Not judging just statingthe ffacts

  • Tony

    Funny how the Constitution only matters to them when it fits the agenda....

  • tw eagle

    good work & thought from the House . . . I'd be more comfortable with a 16-week limit , but this is a good compromise . . .

    hope it makes it into law . . . for those intellectually challenged ladies who will profess " I didn't know I was pregnant " , re-enroll in a health course to learn more about your bodily functions , and since you are pregnant - take a course on natal care . . .

    for those ladies who opened wide to try & trap a man - you won't have 8 months to get an abortion if your 'intended' won't walk down the aisle . . . fror those ladies who seek this remedy , deliver the baby by C-section and then euthanize the woman . . .she has absolutely no regard for anyone or anything but her own self serving wants . . . the world will never miss these warped people . . .

  • David

    Knowingly advancing an unconstitutional law, solely to protect their political asses. Just pathetic.

    • The bookman

      Stating the bill is unconstitutional does not make it unconstitutional, even if you were Chief Justice Roberts, which you are not. The states have the jurisdiction to create those laws that are not SPECIFICALLY enumerated to the Federal Government. It is therefore constitutional until proven otherwise.

      • David

        Bookman, did you read the article, or have you read the cases? Bans such as this have been adjudicated as unconstitutional because they violate provisions of the Federal constitution - which trumps every state's rights argument. A state can pass any law they want but, if challenged then found and upheld to be Federally unconstitutional, the state's law falls. And this is exactly how it should be.
        SCOTUS denied cert on the Arizona case when given a chance. What makes you think the efforts by WV will be more successful than Arizona?
        You're right, I'm not Chief Justice John Roberts, but neither are you.
        So let me clarify - compelling evidence suggests to me that the proposed WV law is unconstitutional, and that efforts to pass it are pathetic political posturing. Is that better?

        • The bookman

          So far Arizona's ban has been struck down by the Ninth Circus, Circuit. There are many other states with similar bans and only 2 to my knowledge are being challenged. The facts are this is how our system works. The boundaries of our laws are constantly being tested, as I'm sure you know that. We've sparred before on issues of constitutionality. Your position here seems different from the last time but with the same chant. It is somehow ok for the LGBT community to test the boundaries of marriage law and gain whatever foothold they can, but the same deference is not granted to the pro life community to test the legal boundaries of abortion law?

          As was the case with the marriage issue, abortion arguments are not my thing. I am against same sex marriage and to me abortion is murder by another name. But politically they are both losing issues for conservatives. I don't get to decide. Our American Society gets to decide, and that is the process we see playing out before us.

          So my problem with your comment was that you immediately desire to short circuit the process. And quite frankly, that process defines us as the country we are. Sorry about the John Roberts comment. It was crude and I shouldn't have typed it. The debate, what we do here, and what lawyers and judges do in appellate courts and amongst themselves, gives us the laws we live by. They should be granted the opportunity to do just that, have the debate, make a judgement based on the best facts before them, and move on.

      • Mark

        While you're correct in stating the legal principle that a bill is constitutional until proven otherwise, Arizona had the same legislation. It was struck down by a federal appeals court, and the US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the decision striking the law down. That's pretty strong evidence this law will be struck down if passed. Then the state will be stuck with the attorney fees for the challengers, while the pro-life legislators crow about what they did.

        • The bookman

          Maybe, but I'm not sure our law is exactly like Arizona's. And I'm also sure that it won't be challenged in the Ninth Circuit, as was Arizona's law. There are many other states with enacted laws similar to this proposal that are not currently being challenged. And, this is the process by which we merge a changing society to the laws we live by. If it is unconstitutional, the courts will tell us. If it passes constitutional muster, or remains unchallenged, then it is the law of this land. That is how it works, and to steal a line from Aaron, it really is that simple.

      • Wirerowe

        Methinks chairman Perdue in his heart would not support this bill. He is getting out of the way of a runaway train.

        • The bookman

          Hoppy had him a little befuddled today. Definitely back peddled through his interview.

  • Independent View

    Lest one harm one of the little children...

    • WV Redneck

      Least one harm even a single hair on this little ones head it would be better for them had they never been born.

      • flossrancher

        A couple of these posts use language which seems intended to sound Biblical, but the things they say are not in the Bible at all. I think people ought not be stating or implying that their opinion comes from God when it doesn't. "Verily, thou shalt not deny to the woman the choice over the body which the Lord hath given unto her."

        • Nettie

          I believe they are referencing Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (King James Version.)

          I am curious to know the reference to your quote?

        • Leroy j Gibbs

          A woman's body as well as a man's is a temple. I don't think god would want that done to his temple

      • CPA