CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Legislation that would ban abortions in West Virginia after 20 weeks, except in cases of medical emergencies, could be finalized on Saturday — the final day of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session.

Dr. Lori Tucker, an OB-GYN from Princeton, spoke out against the bill on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”  “The language in the bill is such that it’s pointing the finger a physicians and making us sound like we’re slaughtering and we’re not,” she said.  “It’s not inherent for an OB to hurt a baby.”

But Father Brian O’Donnell, executive secretary of the West Virginia Catholic Conference, said the bill makes sense for West Virginia, a state that, he said, is largely a pro-life state without pro-life laws.

“This reflects their actual beliefs (West Virginians) and it also does something that’s not a small thing, which is it pays attention to the child in the womb,” said Father O’Donnell on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“The argument for this goes to the ability of the child in the womb to feel pain.”  If an unborn child or fetus can feel pain, O’Donnell and other supporters of the bill have argued the state has an interest in protecting the fetus or unborn child.

Tucker said care for the fetus or unborn child is between a woman and her doctor.  “There are so many flaws in this bill that limit the ability of an OB-GYN to take care of their patient appropriately,” she said.

After hearing from her and others, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the proposed bill on a voice vote on Thursday night and sent it to the Senate floor.

The House has already passed a different version of the bill, HB 4588, meaning a compromise may have to be reached before Saturday’s deadline.  The 2014 Regular Legislative Session closes on Saturday night.

Attorneys in the Legislature have said the bill is unconstitutional because it prohibits abortions prior to fetal viability, a point that is generally thought to be between 23 and 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

Nine other states already ban abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization.

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  • Cynara

    @Patricia Yes, I believe in gun rights and abortion rights.

    People should not mind other peoples business on either issue.

  • Frank in Ohio

    Did anyone happen to think, the whole drinking water contamination leak was the WORK OF GOD, for the lack of morals for your drug addict state?

    • editerguy

      If what you suggest is true, then God is getting old and weak. His first big punishment was flooding the earth and killing all but eight humans. Then came punishing Sodom and Gomorrah with a rain of fire and brimstone (and turning one disobedient lady into salt). After that He punished Egypt with ten successively imaginative and powerful plagues. And now He's only able to spring a leak in a chemical tank? Sorry about your God, but mine still rules the universe, and when He decides to send humanity a message, it's a clear and strong one!

  • Cynara

    If you're not the pregnant woman, or possibly her partner, you should stay out of it. You don't know what the issues are.

    Don't y'all have some of your own business to mind?

    And good for the priest to speak up, we know they want more little boys to be born....

    • Patricia

      Cynara, does that same rule apply to other issues - like the right to bear arms?

    • Don Smith

      I am convinced that saving the lives of tiny boys and girls should be every reasonable person's responsibility. Life IS our business. Our plea is only that you think. Life is God-given and ought not to be taken for granted nor should it be taken from others without necessity , even in private.

      • Frank in Ohio

        There are no lives you are saving. Life starts when baby is born.. not at conception. So says the US Supreme Court. If you love your guns, you must abide by ALL the rulings of the court.

        • Don Smith

          Deep down I am sure you know better than that. By the way, some of are very happy to be West Virginians. We are clever enough to understand that a baby doesn't magically appear at birth. He or she has been around for about nine months.Black robes are not required to figure this out. Have a great day of life.

  • DWM

    We're not slaughtering babies??
    .... She said with her head deeply buried in the sand. Who is she kidding?

    • Frank in Ohio

      Its pretty obvious you like wasting the money of tax payers in West Virginia. Because if they pass this bill, then the state will be sued.
      If the state is sued, you'll have to defend a bill that is UNCONSTITUTIONAL according to Roe v. Wade ruling. A bill that will be struck down. Fact is, the ruling was made a generation ago, and you won't have any luck reversing it.
      More importantly, if y'all in WV would educate your kids on the importance of NOT doing Heroine, NOT having unprotected Sex, & NOT having a generation of kids who are only Educated enough to dig coal out of the Earth, then maybe you wouldn't have to worry about abortion.
      Of course, if you did all those things, the generatoins to follow would be smart enough to move out of the Stereotype state called West Virginia.

      • kdr

        So Frank IN Ohio what's your occupation!?!

  • Don Smith

    “It’s not inherent for an OB to hurt a baby.” What! Can you cut them into pieces and still say you are not hurting them? What happened to "First do no harm?" There is no way to salve a conscience who kills children.