CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House of Delegates debated the emotional subject of abortion for more than two hours Tuesday evening before approving a bill that would prohibit abortions following 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Discussion of the fetal pain bill, which passed 79-17, brought out personal stories, calls against the bill’s constitutionality and predictions of political backlash.

The bill provides for an exemption in case of medical emergencies but it also calls for prosecution of doctors who perform abortions following the 20-week mark.

“This is unconstitutional, it is,” Del. Don Perdue, D-Wayne, said. “On its face, its premise, the language, the law, it’s unconstitutional.”

Supporters said there’s medical evidence that unborn children at 20 weeks begin to feel pain.

“I will proudly see that vote as a vote to prevent unborn children from feeling pain,” House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, said.

Kanawha County Del. Meshea Poore made the move to have the House clerk to read the bill in its entirety. She later said in a nearly 40-minute floor speech that one thing the bill does is tell doctors they don’t matter anymore in West Virginia.

“We don’t care about your expertise. We don’t care about you going to school. We don’t care about you getting your different credits that you have to renew your license with, we’re saying to you that if you make this decision for any one of your patients we’re going to put you in jail,” Poore said.

The House may not have taken up the bill this year had it not been for a move by Republicans during pro-life day to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Some Democrats, who are pro-life and who voted against the move that day were criticized by pro-life groups. The bill then quickly began moving through the committee process.

None of the bill’s sponsors spoke in favor of the bill Tuesday evening.

The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration.


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  • Klilly

    I have never know any children dying of starvation in WV and there is help for low income such as WIC Food stamps and free medical care and food stamps. These worthless low lifes the is that is attacking people on food stamps is no better then the dirt they stand on. There is many of your vets are on food stamps that has fought for your low life rear end and you have the gall to call people lazy that is on food stamps. These same ones say people should have rights to abort at any time during the pregnancy. You do not care about life and you are the ones that usually tortures cats

  • Wes

    Hope this bill passes. This is a step in the right direction.

  • Kelley

    Abortion after 20 weeks is rarely a "choice". It is due to a medical emergency or because a diagnosis was made that will severely affect the life of the unborn child. Anatomy scans and Amniocentesis are usually done around this critical time. If a diagnosis is made at this time, we leave the FAMILY with no options. I guess as a state we aren't concerned with the pain that a child will feel after they are born if they are so unfortunate as to have severe birth defects.

  • Tom even

    Where can one go to see if my delegate voted for this bill?

    • Austin

  • rick

    It is the 9th...Justice Douglas called it the right to be left alone. The right to not have Govt in our lives where it does not belong.

  • Clint

    Just curious, but what is the right to abortion amendment? I know it's not the 1rst or the 2nd.

  • Clint

    Sounds like you want to kill all the poor kids because they are a drain on the system, and at the same you want Obama Care to Save The Day!
    Who pays for Obama Care?
    Are you on Obama Care?

  • toldyaso

    Same old debate over and over again... what about clothing and feeding the newborns once they are out of the womb? What about providing medical coverage? Many West Virginia babies are born right into poverty. Their parents are those folks attacked by the do gooders as lazy welfare bums that live off the system and will never amount to anything but trash. The same people that scream abortion is murder are the same exact people in support of repealing Obamacare which has covered thousands children across America with medical coverage. Wouldn't taking away a child's insurance be risky business? Such a move could possibly result in children dying. Just a thought...
    Furthermore, all this debate does is cause total smoke and mirrors to those pressing issues facing the state. People leave West Virginia every day. I left because I saw what was going on and the sad fact people did not care and gave up fighting long ago. It's a sad thing. One day the people will take notice, but it will be too late. But never fear Shelley Moore Capito will save the day! LOL

    • WV Guru

      I am not for abortion. However, there is something worse and it never gets mentioned or space on the front page or time in the Legislature. That is, the Unwanted Child. When you look at the bio's of so many criminals and talk to people with depression, it comes from being unwanted from birth and treated accordingly. It is always easy to say, give the child up for adoption, but there is always the stigma to that solution. Children should be brought into a World that wants them, not one that hates their birth. From my observations, a wanted child is a happy pregnancy and a healthier individual.

    • Mark

      Well said.

  • Debra

    This will be overturned in the courts just like the rest of these bills all over the country are being struck down. If it even passes the senate.

    • jfk

      maybe but I will remember these House Members come election day

      • Debra

        And THAT is the whole point of this exercise!

  • jfk

    this is baby steps and its only one 3rd done
    but AMEN!

  • RHytonen

    If I were a were either a woman, a doctor, or young enough to be a father; I would leave this state after voting against the constitutionally, morally and logically imbecilic "legislators" who did such a thing.

    Even after allowing the energy industry to rape this state, poisoning, destroying the roads and infrastructures and depopulating towns, (and yes, my neighbors and friends ARE leaving in droves already;) raising its domestic energy costs by exporting its resources, while ensuring the future demise of ALL water and arability; this cuckoo FOX-driven conservatism is making West Virginia an even worse hell?

    Then after 18 months (the productive life of a Marcellus well,) they abandon the vast pads, erosion, and cancer ponds, and leave the remaining cancer-ridden (and once again jobless) citizens, to figure a way to pay for rebuilding and cleaning up what even NATURE can't ever clean up.

    How much worse can it get?
    They seem to be finding ways.
    We are now an oppressive theocracy -
    exactly like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    • jason

      Much of your anger is misguided.

      The raping of our state has long been a practice of outside elites like the Rockefeller's for instance.

      The lack of jobs and rising energy prices are a direct result of this administration's "war on coal"

      Being outraged when science proves that a fetus feels pain at 20 weeks and then calling it morally wrong when the state acts to protect that life points to your own 'imbecilic moral' compass

    • WheelingFeeling

      See ya!! Don't let the door hit you on the way out. You will NOT be missed!!!

      Oh by the way 18 months for a well? Mine has been pumping well over 18 months and still going strong. Billions of dollars being pumped into the surrounding area for a measley 18 months. Get real and stop your propaganda.

  • Hmmmm

    I wonder if rape and incest is considered a medical emergency. Doubtful. This state only has 1 abortion clinic & most people go out of state anyways.

    • Stanley D. Wyatt

      There are 2 abortion centers. Both located in Charleston.

  • WV Proud

    The part that frustrates me is the male partner has no say in the case. Why doesn't the father of the child have a say? Just because the female carries the child doesn't mean the father should be discounted, after all, it is his child too!!!!

    • I'm honest at least


    • Clint

      I agree.
      She may not want it, but who is to say the Father shouldn't have a choice.
      But she may become vindictive, and try to miscarry.
      After all why should she have to gain weight so a child can live.
      This is a barbaric practice.
      And anyone who is for it, probably has never saw it performed.
      There are too many on the web, but I would suggest to anyone facing that decision, to watch one, so they can see what is hanging in the balance.

  • John Q

    Abortion stops a beating heart and is murder. Period! The woman made her "choice" we she consented to intercourse. Abortion should only be used in cases of rape and incest.

    • Concerned

      That's where I'm confused. Im not strongly for or against, but consistency would be nice. If all abortions are murder, then even the ones out of medical necessity and rape should be illegal. Those unborns are no less deserving. If ones truly talking about a law protecting the fetus, then stand behind it, don't introduce exceptions in it to try to pacify.

      • Don Smith

        Yes, no exceptions to preserving the life of the pre-born person should be allowed. ALL abortion kills a baby. No civilized society would ever sanction such a terrible action.

        • Concerned

          Of course, no civilized society would allow those same baby's to not have health insurance or go hungry either.