CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the legislation which would have made an abortion past the 20 week gestation mark illegal in West Virginia. Tomblin issued the veto late Friday saying the bill was unconstitutional and a detriment to women’s health.

The bill won approval in the House and Senate and would have made performing an abortion after the 20 week pregnancy time frame a felony. The bill called for punishment of no less than a year in prison for a doctor found in violation.

“I am advised, by not only attorneys from the Legislature, but through my own legal team that this bill is unconstitutional as shown by actions of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Tomblin in a statement issued with the veto. “The bill is also problematic because it unduly restricts the physician-patient relationship. All patients, particularly expectant mothers, require the best, most unfettered medical judgment and advice from their physicians regarding treatment options.”

Supporters of the bill claimed medical evidence showed the unborn baby was capable of experiencing pain at the 20 week gestation mark. Although there was debate about that among medical researchers.

Officials with West Virginia Free were pleased with the governor’s decision.

“HB 4588 would have taken away a woman’s ability to make extremely personal and often heartbreaking reproductive health care decision,” said Margaret Chapman Pomponio, executive director of the organization in a statement released after the veto. “We believe that these decisions should be made by a woman in consultation with her physician, not by legislators. The Governor made the right choice in vetoing this bill and we are heartened by his decision to place his trust in the women of West Virginia and the medical community.”

West Virginians for Life, who hailed the bill as one that had already been adopted by ten other states were disappointed by the news.

“The Governor has placed himself in a minority position on this bill,” said West Virginians for Life President Wanda Franz.

“Nothing the Governor has done has changed the fact there is a substantial body of scientific evidence that unborn babies from 20 weeks old feel pain,” said West Virginians for Life Legislative Coordinator John Carey. “We expect a groundswell of support leading up to the 2015 session.”

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  • Memo

    Deliberating this issue in the WV House and Senate was not a waste of time. If the unborn are not protected, then none of us is safe. The unborn are the most vulnerable, defenseless, and voiceless in our world. Since the U.S. Constitution allows for abortion, we must use the legislative process to place restrictions on it? The "women's health" issue is ludicrous. I simply cannot fathom how any parent could abort a child -- it is so contrary to natural law. What about the adult's emotional, spiritual, and psychological health after aborting the child? We seldom take those important aspects of "health" into consideration. Abortion may be legal, but it is highly immoral.

  • Patricia

    It is utterly disgusting that it is still acceptable in WV to kill babies. How can the governor justify this? How can the Legislature justify this?

    For some strange reason, it is illegal to cause pain to our pets but not our children?

  • rick

    It was the right thing to do to save a lot of time and money. The bill was obviously flawed due to the 9th Amendment....yes there are more than the 2nd. The law was unnecessary because no doctor was doing these late term abortions (not elective after 20 weeks) All that were done (6-7 per year) were due to severe medical complications.

  • justathought

    We cringe at the thought of what Nazi Germany did to the Jews. We are shocked at what we see when we pass through the holocaust museum in our nations capitol, but its o.k. in the United States of America to pull a kicking baby from a mothers womb at 5 months only to have an instrument of death plunged into the base of its brain until the kicking stops. How can a country become so selfish and hard hearted. Explain to me why it takes five months of pregnancy before someone decides to kill their baby. Didn't they know they were pregnant? 56 million babies slaughtered since Roe vs. Wade and the count continues. God help us.

  • Mark

    unbelievable, He is no better than the liberals that run California... vote this bum out.

  • George

    So now we have a baby killing democrat governor.....can, t wait until election time. I believe that this was joke from the get go as all the democrats probably knew that tomblin was going to veto this bill .. They were hoping to gain more votes due to their sinking ship....we'll it didn't work.....I'm changing my party to republican at least they have respect for human life

  • conchop

    I'm glad to see this win for the Constitution and the loss for power grabbing Bible Thumpers. The lawyers and the "informed", fully realized that this law was a complete waste of Legislative effort. It would never make it through the Courts in one piece and very similar anti abortion laws have already been struck down.

    This Legislation was just another feeble effort of the Evangelical Tea/GOP Conservatives to pass their selected "Dogma of the day" into Unconstitutional law. Why would anyone want to pass an Unconstitutional Law this close to the election??? You've just been victimized by a bunch of Neocons, blowing their favorite Dog Whistle!

    One thing your average conservative goober needs to learn is the priority of Laws. Natural Law is number one and you can't break it. The Laws of Man are very special and in the US, they are set up to give us Freedom of Religion. [ which means we're free of your Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Dogma ]. Religious laws and dogma are the LEAST of laws that rule free people. You're free to follow judgmental religious bosses if you want. But we are a free people and we don't have to follow your religious rules or interpretations of those rules, if we don't want to.

    So you Bible thumpers have been pretty good at infiltrating and attempting to pass restrictive laws in the name of your religion. You'll even try to do it when you know its Unconstitutional. Perhaps this is a good time to have all religious institutions start paying taxes. If the religious institution can't keep out of the affairs of State [ almost like the Taliban ] with these costly sideshows, then pony up.

    • George

      I feel sorry for you and especially when you meet your maker

      • conchop

        George - I appreciate your concern. However, I'm quite sure I'm good. But I'm not so sure about the heretics with Dog Whistles ....

  • jayzoom

    JANURARY 2017 the governor of West Virginia will beeeeeeeeeeee ---- the honorable -- Earl Ray Tomblin enough said .

    • Aaron

      Given that the WV Constitution says he cannot run again, you are wrong.

      Do not take my word for it.

      "None of the executive officers mentioned in this article shall hold any other office during the term of his service. A person who has been elected or who has served as governor during all or any part of two consecutive terms shall be ineligible for the office of governor during any part of the term immediately following the second of the two consecutive terms,"

      Governor Tomblin was elected to fill the remainder of Joe Manchin's term in 2011 and again in 2012. That's two terms.

      This is such a simple search, why does the ignorance persist?

      • The bookman

        Because the ignorant are many, and have poor comprehension skills. I am impressed with you patience though.

  • mike

    And people wonder why the young are leaving West Virginia. No leadership, no vision, just old school politics. No backbone. Tomblin had nothing to lose on this one. Amazing.

    God have mercy on his soul. Vote them all out.

  • CaptainQ

    All I can say about this is, Governor Tomblin must be planning to retire from elected office once his term runs out in two years.

  • Cheryl Gaunt

    I am so disappointed in Gov. Tomblyn for signing this bill. How about the rights of the unborn this day and age, abortion should not be a choice for birth control. There are too many other choices out there to not become pregnant. I would not want to be responsible for all the unborn babies that this bill will murder.

  • Julian Jet

    This issue is a simple one. When does life begin? The Bible teaches that life begins at conception. As for me, I agree. Only God can give life. Therefore, only God can take life. The debate over 20 weeks or 24 weeks or 40 weeks is a smoke screen. Call it a women's health issue or call it unconstitutional. Either way, we will stand before almighty God one day giving an account for our actions or inaction on this issue and others. I find it ironic that Gov Tomblin cites his "pro life" legislative record in the same press release where he announced his veto.

  • Imgrill

    Why mist we spend time and money on an issue decided decades ago? Move forward not backward we have 21st century issues needing legislation.

  • Mike

    ERT just another Democrat that hate babies. Hate must be born into the Left wing baby killers. Hating and killing babies is how the Dumbocrats stay in office.

  • Neal

    Those who stand by the constitution to defend abortion need to consider a wider view. Slavery was also considered 'constitutional' in this country for many years before we grew up as a society and made it unconstitutional. I predict that we will go the same one day to the tragedy of abortion.