CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is promising to again veto any fetal pain bill that would ban abortions in West Virginia after 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

“The governor is pro-life, has a pro-life record, always has been pro-life. But he’s also pragmatic and he doesn’t believe it’s proper to sign a bill that’s been ruled unconstitutional,” said Chris Stadelman, spokesperson for the Tomblin Administration, on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

In March, Tomblin vetoed the legislation the Legislature approved overwhelmingly and, in a statement Thursday, said he would do the same if the bill makes it back to his desk in the identical form.

Those with West Virginians for Life have been working to gather enough signatures from lawmakers on a petition that would force Tomblin to call a special session so lawmakers could pass the bill, send it to the governor and then stay in session to override the expected veto.

John Carey, a lobbyist with West Virginians for Life, said Thursday he needed four more signatures from House delegates to reach the required threshold.

While similar bans at 20 weeks have been overturned in other states, bans that take effect after 24 weeks into a pregnancy — what’s considered viability or when the fetus or unborn child could potentially survive outside of the womb — have withstood legal challenges.

“If it was moved from 20 to 24 weeks, it would be something that would be acceptable,” Tomblin told MetroNews earlier this week. He’s pledged to work with lawmakers on a different form of the bill, one that would pass constitutional muster, during next year’s regular legislative session.

According to Carey, though, the 20 week mark must not be moved because that’s when, he said, studies have shown a fetus or unborn child can feel pain.

House Speaker Tim Miley (D-Harrison, 48) supported Tomblin in a statement he released on Thursday.

“I understand there must be a great deal of disappointment by any special interest group when its bill is vetoed, but I am troubled by the demand that the Legislature be called back into a special session, at taxpayer expense, to revisit the very same legislation that appears to be legally flawed,” said Miley.

“Though I voted for this bill and am proud of my pro-life record, I don’t believe West Virginia taxpayers will understand why lawmakers would be so eager to quickly return to Charleston at great expense to attempt to pass legislation destined for a long legal battle and a very uncertain future.”

It costs an estimated $30,000 each day lawmakers are in a special session.  A three-day long special session wrapped up earlier this week at the State Capitol.

bubble graphic

34

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Martin

    As far as abortion, typically it isn't the vote that counts, they want the endorsement. People don't pay as much attention to votes as they do the endorsement cards they get at churches and in the mail.

    The Senate caved to the endorsement pressure and it sounds like the House has remained strong (well so far). I'm surprised by it because it shows backbone when the house members run every 2 years and the senate doesn't. You would think it would be the opposite.

    Personally on this one, I'm more of a government out of lives vs in them so I hope the House doesn't cave.

    • The bookman

      On that we agree, in all counts.

  • Pickle Barrel

    Really Tim Miley? Expense is an issue? Wasn't an issue a year ago when you held the Morgantown ballpark project hostage over the magistrate pay raise which forced a special session.

    • Martin

      I thought this was his first session? Was he Speaker last session too?

      • The bookman

        Miley was Judiciary Chairman at the time and held up the TIF for the ballpark project to get the Senate to move on the Magistrate bill. Pickle barrel makes a good point. This isn't about money, as they don't care about $30K/day. They already got what they wanted. The Dems are on record as supporting the bill, giving them the cover the want for the election.

        • Martin

          A judiciary chairman doesn't have that kind of power folks. He just doesn't. There had to be something else.

          If having one vote under their belts was enough, then why isn't the Senate holding out?

          • Martin

            As far as abortion, typically it isn't the vote that counts, they want the endorsement. People don't pay as much attention to votes as they do the endorsement cards they get at churches and in the mail.

            The Senate caved to the endorsement pressure and it sounds like the House has remained strong (well so far). I'm surprised by it because it shows backbone when the house members run every 2 years and the senate doesn't. You would think it would be the opposite.

            Personally on this one, I'm more of a government out of lives vs in them so I hope the House doesn't cave.

          • Martin

            Your logic doesn't add up except if 'house leadership' wanted a bill and the senate didn't, then it could happen. One judiciary chairman does not have that kind of pull. There had to be more involved. That is just a fact.

            I'm surprised you don't think that kind of thing happens all the time. The bill made it to the floor though. If that happened then they were willing to do it, because you don't send things to the floor if there is not enough time to pass them. The senate had to be playing games too. That is how things die at the end of session. One last note, typically budget week follows the end of session, special sessions are called often during that week because bills dying the last night happen so often.

            Personally, I think both bills are bad, raises should have been across the board instead of singled out for the state. Wages are too low here. The TIF bill is anti-capitalism because it picked winners and losers, in one of the fastest growing areas in the state.

            I guess my preference would have been both died and not special session.

          • The bookman

            And to the political question regarding the pain capable legislation, it is a pro life driven petition, not a movement originating in the legislature. The pro life lobby is still driving this agenda, as they did in the regular session. I say they got the result they needed in that politically the Democrats can point to their supportive vote during the regular session to counter the Republicans in the general election. Given the number of legislators that have signed the petition, it is obvious how effective the pro life lobby is in forcing their agenda down our throats. As I've stated earlier, although I'm extremely pro life with zero exceptions, I accept that my position is in the minority. There are things I have to accept in our society, and abortion is one of them. I think the Governor has the right path in mind and Miley is right to try to hold the number under 60. I don't want to see a special session on this issue.

          • The bookman

            I never said it died in committee, just that Miley held it up long enough for the session to end before they could resolve the difference. He admits that. I never said he could call the session, and neither did Pickle barrel. The Governor is the only person who can do that. But the reason it was necessary was due in large part to the TIF not getting done.

            The detestable part of it all is that he held up a bill that he supported for the purpose of extracting a bill out of the Senate with which Prezioso and others in the Senate had problems. It was pure political brinksmanship, and showed that Miley along with the rest of the House leadership was willing to shelve widely supported legislation to force the Magistrates pay increase bill. You want to defend that kind of behavior, go ahead. It's one thing to negotiate and compromise; it's quite another to hold hostage something everyone wants to get everything YOU want.

          • Martin

            Holding up a bill is much different than killing a bill in committee. If you kill a bill in committee it never sees the day of light. If you hold one up, you call a bluff. That article states it got to the floor for a vote.

            Again, there had to be something more because it didn't die in committee. The special session was based on more than that, it had to be based on legislative procedure. A special session cannot be called because of a judiciary chairman, it is impossible when you look at the hierarchy of the political power. Could he cause grief? Yes. Change the bill? Yes. Never let it out of committee? Yes. But he could not singlehandedly do what you say. There were more involved without a doubt, including and probably more at fault would be the speaker. That is just a fact.

            Also, you still have not answered the question regarding your statement on why they got the one vote they needed for the abortion bill. If that was all they needed politically for cover, than why did the senate request a special session for the abortion bill?

          • The bookman

            In a 60 day session, bills have to advance out of one house, get to the other and pass. Prezioso in the Senate and Miley in the House withheld action on these two pieces of legislation to the degree that they both died before they could be resolved by both houses. Miley admits candidly to the process in the story I attached. A two day special session was called and both bills were passed as a result. Why deny what is so readily evident?

          • Martin

            Also, if they only needed the one vote, why did the Senate sign on to a special session?

          • Martin

            That states it advanced to the floor, and didn't die in his committee.

            Again, a judiciary chairman does not have the ability to force a special session. They do not have that kind of power. They also can let all kinds of bills die in committee but that is a totally different beast.

          • The bookman

            He has the ability to hold it up, letting it die. It was a standoff between the House and The Senate.

            Here is the backup.

            http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201304100078

        • liberty4all

          Don't get me started on the TIF project from last year. Perfect example of crony capitalism, corporate welfare, and the government picking winners and losers. Sadly, many "conservatives" abandoned their principles for that and we libertarians were left to carry the banner for consistent philosophy on fiscal conservativism and the government's role in capitalism.

  • The bookman

    The governor is correct to assert his veto threat, and I hope Miley is successful in restraining his caucus from participating in a move to 60 votes. The law would be constitutional if passed, as the SCOTUS has never ruled on pain capable legislation. However, society has clearly spoken that Abortion should be an available option for women, especially when in close consultation with her physician. We in the pro life community hold the minority view on the question of these 7 abortions that are in question here in WV. This argument is ultimately about Roe v Wade, and is a terrible waste of our resources .

    Strengthen families, support young families, educate young adults regarding the implications of poor sexual choices and focus our efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancies instead of this constant barrage of abortion bills.

    • liberty4all

      Well said (from a fellow pro-lifer who wishes to see a more constructive use of our governmental resources).

  • George

    You people that continue to yell constitution better start thinking what's right and what's wrong.......or do you really care. (Though shall not kill)......... And that comes from a history book far older than any our Nation has written.

    • Christian

      Got let Adam and Eve choose, so if it is good enough for God, then it is good enough for me.

      • Christian

        God let Adam and Eve choose, so if it is good enough for God, then it is good enough for me.

  • George

    Typical yellow bellied democrats.......

    • Mac

      But what about the child? Who speaks for that human miracle? You mix political greed with the viability of human life. I wouldn't have to waste my time and effort reading your diatribe to convince you that abortion is murder! Let's change "abort" to "adopt" - there's only two letters of difference between life and death.

  • Inez

    Your picture posted shows where your loyalties lie. You did not even try to be neutral.
    The fix is in on Metro News.

    • Pickle Barrel

      Then go read the Gazette. You'll especially appreciate today's editorial.

  • Inez

    Thank you, Govenor Tomblin. Finally a voice of reason, in a sea of screaming want - to -bes.
    Why revisit this in special session?
    Could it be about having a club to beat those who will not go along with you during election season?

  • Iegalese

    Someone should FOIA the consent for medical records release for the ultrasound photo. That is a medical record.

  • IreneCC

    Do you have permission to use that photo? Is that your child? Doesn't anyone involved with this story follow the rules and ethics of their profession? Signing petitions in the Senate and holding off on notification until the last minute - hoping no one is watching? What happened to unbiased news coverage??
    This whole deal is a joke!!

  • Protect the Children

    It's already been ruled unconstitutional in Arizona and Idaho so lets enrich the lawyers in an exercise in futility - this bill is the worst - Did ANYONE think this all the way through? For example there are no exemptions for crime victims -- forced procreation through rape - nice one fellas --that will get us on the national news again. JimBob Pedophile thanks the wv leg for allowing him to fulfill his white supremacist dream impregnating young girls and knowing they will be legally required to give birth....

  • Marty

    Seriously? You think using an ultrasound is a good way to illustrate this "news" story? I guess WV Metro News is about as "fair and balanced" as Faux Noise.

    Calling a special session to run this bill through the legislature is a waste of time and money. MY money, taxpayers' money. This is pure political posturing.

    Women's health care decisions need to be between women and their doctors. Stay out of my uterus.

    • Pickle Barrel

      I shake my head with disbelief when I see murder referred to as health care.

      • Chase

        Maybe you should stop eating so many pickles?

    • Don

      "Stay out of my uterus".

      We're you talking to us or the 1 million unborn babies you all are targeting for extinction this year? Wasn't sure, thanks.

      • Jaye

        Thank you Gov Tomblin for saving us money for special sessions and in court rooms. This bill would be tied up in courts system forever. Get with the program Senators. Surely you all know better.