CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The executive director of West Virginia Free is among those working to block a bill that would ban abortions in West Virginia after 20 weeks into a pregnancy except in cases of medical emergencies.
“Women want to have healthy pregnancies. They want to have healthy children. The men in their lives want them to have healthy pregnancies and healthy children, but pregnancies sometimes go wrong,” said Margaret Chapman Pomponio.
What happens next in those cases, she said, should be between pregnant women and their doctors.
“Legislators don’t understand what the circumstances are that a woman is facing and so — to take that decision making out of the doctor’s hands, out of the woman’s hands and place it here at the State Capitol — is just misplaced and little misguided,” said Chapman Pomponio.
The bill, HB 4588, is pending in the House Judiciary Committee with just more than two weeks left in the 2014 Regular Legislative Session. Reports indicate that bill will be addressed, but it is on a deadline. Next Wednesday is the last day bills can come out of the chamber where they were introduced.
The bill is similar to HB 2364. An attempt to bring that legislation directly to the House floor failed last week with a 48-48 vote and reportedly lead to a contentious, hours-long private Democratic caucus meeting.
Members of West Virginia Free were lobbying at the State Capitol on Thursday during Women’s Day at the Legislature.
Group members were thanking those in the House of Delegates for passage of the West Virginia Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act which is now pending in the Senate Labor Committee.
If the Senate approves, that bill, HB 4284, would mandate that employers make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women in their workplaces.