CHARLESTON, W.Va. — House Minority Leader Tim Armstead disagrees with House Speaker Tim Miley’s assertion that it’s too late for a possible veto override for the fetal pain bill, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy except in cases of medical emergencies.

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House Minority Leader Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha, 40)

“To me, from reviewing it, I believe that it’s consistent with two of the three co-equal branches of government, being able to co-exist and the interrelations between the governor and the Legislature, I think we can override a veto,” said Armstead (R-Kanawha, 40).

A guest on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Armstead cited legal opinions from state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Bob Bastress, a law professor at West Virginia University.

Both have said they believe lawmakers have the power to override a veto in a special session, even though the regular session has ended.

In a letter sent to House members last week, however, Miley (D-Harrison, 48) wrote: “I have consulted with our Clerk and House attorneys, and it’s clear to them and to me that once the Legislature adjourns sine die at the end of the regular or an extended session, the ability to further consider legislation from the session ends.”

He reiterated that view on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was approved with an 83-15 vote in the House and a 29-5 vote in the Senate during the 2014 Regular Legislative Session.  Last month, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed HB 4588 calling it unconstitutional and unduly restrictive to the doctor-patient relationship.

Supporters of the legislation have continued to argue the ban is needed because an unborn child or fetus can feel pain at the 20 week mark in development.

Those with West Virginians for Life are circulating a petition among lawmakers. If three-fifths of the members of both the state Senate and state House of Delegates sign that petition, Tomblin would be forced to include the bill on a special session agenda—possibly as early as next month.

“I support that effort. I think that is the proper way to go,” said Armstead, who predicted the majority of House Republicans would likely support a petition. He said he does not know what pro-life House Democrats will do.

“It’s important to decide whether we are OK, as a state, with allowing abortions to go forward when that child can feel pain.”

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  • abram

    A liberal won't think twice about ending the life of 20 week old fetus even though you know it feels pain. But will cry fowl when a murder/rapist is put to death. Unbelievable... Your liberal views on aborting children will not go untested, ever!

  • Craig

    Just when you think you can't vote for another Democrat, you're reminded of how CRAZY republicans are in this state.

    No way do I want to go back to the days of women dying during illegal back alley abortions.

  • Charles

    Why are we spending time on something that has already been declared unconstitutional in several states just so the republicans and a few democrats can play up to the voters and say, "We tried". Give it up and move on to something else and quit wasting the state's money.

  • john

    I'll believe an override to Tomblin's veto when I see it. I don't think any of them have the b---s to vote for it, as its all election time smoke and mirrors. They seem to be afraid of Tomblin and don't want to upset him. Nothing more than political grandstanding, which they are so good at.

  • Nettie

    Tomblin waited till the last moment to veto this bill. Shutting down the option to override just because the session is over gives any governor the power to shut down any bit of legislation he/she likes. That yields way more power to the executive branch, and a single elected official, than is good for our state. I agree this shouldn't be so drawn out. The bill is the right thing to do. Tomblin should have kept out of it.

  • Gary Allen

    When is this state going to stop moving backwards? Stop wasting time on this stuff.

    • BS

      When and who decided ending life was a backward issue time wasting - you?

      • Craig

        1973 SCOTUS - it was kind of a big deal.

  • Butch

    Why they ran this bill in the first place is beyond me but now they want to waste more money on it? Only then to waste more money having to fight it in court? Then waste all that money fighting it in court to LOSE because it is unconstitutional?

    Why do we elect these people? Vote them out!

    • BS

      Because we want them in there to do the right thing, regardless of what the flaming liberals want

  • Sarah

    How about we move on and focus on jobs? The Republican party wants to be back in 1973? No thank you. MOVE ON !

    • Roy

      We have had eighty years of democrats controlling the legislature and now they want to focus on jobs when their own party would like to see our state out of business. Where have they been on jobs during the past 80 years

    • Save the Children

      Here is a better idea Sarah...Why don't we not move on and actually try to save a life from being murdered???

      And hopefully this time my post will not be deleted...not sure why the moderater decided not to post.

      • Craig

        Get off your ridiculous "save a life" BS.

        Making abortion illegal doesn't save lives, it just increases the amount of illegal abortions.