CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new poll shows many West Virginians are opposed to banning abortions after 20 weeks in a pregnancy when they’re told abortions at that stage are very rare and happen, in many cases, because of problems in pregnancy.

“It’s not a simple black and white issue,” said Melissa Reed, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Health Systems, of abortions after 20 weeks.  “This is a very complex decision for a woman to make in consultation with her doctors and West Virginians believe that politicians have no place in that decision making.”

A bill that’s moving in the Senate in the final week of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session would make such abortions illegal except in cases of medical emergencies.  With HB 4588, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, performing late-term abortions would become felony crimes and doctors convicted of the crimes would face jail time.

Reed was a guest on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline” to talk about the poll Public Policy Polling conducted in three Senate districts — those represented by Senate President Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall, 2), Sen. Larry Edgell (D-Wetzel, 2), Senate Health Committee Chair Dr. Ron Stollings (D-Boone, 7), Sen. Art Kirkendoll (D-Logan, 7), Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Corey Palumbo (D-Kanawha, 17) and Sen. Brooks McCabe (D-Kanawha, 17).

It showed 62 percent of registered voters in the three Senate districts supported access to abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy when they were told about specific circumstances where such abortions may be needed.  Most involved health problems for the fetus or child.

The poll questions were specifically worded, Reed said, on purpose.  “When you just give a very generalized statement (about an abortion ban), people will say, ‘Yeah, that sounds right.’  But when you dig deeper and you talk about the real life, tragic circumstances that families sometimes face, then they make a different decision.”

The House has already approved the bill.  Supporters have said fetuses or unborn children can feel pain at 20 weeks in development and the state has a duty, under the law, to offer them protection.  Opponents of the bill in the House argued the bill is unconstitutional.

This year’s 60-day session ends on Saturday night at the State Capitol.

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  • joeyjojo

    The very people who want to regulate cold medicine and tanning beds think a procedure that stops a beating human heart "should be left to doctors and patients and not the Government"

  • rick

    So which Government Agency will the doctor's have to petition to rule what is a medical emergency? How long will that take? Planned Parenthood is a good organization that helps people plan for their familys. They help women with contraception is they want it and help with getting pregnant if they want that help. They are also about healthy pregnancies and after birth care for infants and mothers. Abortion is a tiny part of what they help with.

    • Mike

      One question for you Rick. Are you insane?

  • Crystal

    How many polls did Planned Parenthood conduct before they finally got the results they wanted? I have not heard one person say they opposed this bill.

  • Mike

    PPP will tell you anything to keep the money flowing. People need to read about the founding of this hate group. They are now also deep into the GSA so as to brain wash little girls the killing a baby is OK. This group is nothing more than a legal killing for profit machine. Please read all you can find about the founding of this hate group. You will see them in a whole new light.

  • wvtd

    planned "systematic murder" hood is in the business of murdering the unborn and live off of federal dollars and if was left up to them it would be ok to kill a baby 9 months after birth. abortion is murder!

  • Nett

    So, a poll of only 3 senate districts, all obviously lean heavily democratic, shows that 62% think that abortions should be allowed after 20 weeks when there are health issues for the mother or fetus. And the questions were very carefully worded to get the answers they wanted? Hardly seems like landslide support or unbiased survey procedures. And those who supported abortion will be happy to know that the bill is not just a blanket ban, but does allow for medical emergencies. Sounds like the poll wasn't done to see what West Virginians really wanted, but to create a veiled political threat pointedly at a few political leaders.

  • voter

    I think 20 weeks is plenty of time to decide what to do.

  • Dana James

    Planned Parent the hoods are not happy unless a dead baby is in the trash.

    • Shawn H

      Exactly. People need to research Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. She started it to "exterminate the black race." Her words, not mine. People might feel different about PP when they do.

      • wvtd

        and in new York city her idea has been very effective.

  • rick

    The issues around medical decisions are always more complicated when you delve into them. That is why those decisions should be left to doctors and patients and not the Government

  • GobblyGook

    Killing babies is Big Business for Planned Parenthood. Where are all the liberals that vent against big business greed? This should be at or near the top of their lists in regards to greed. But any type of greed from the left is A-OK by their standards.