CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Senate Majority Leader John Unger (D-Berkeley) says now is the time for the Legislature to address the fetal pain bill. The bill states that barring medical emergencies, abortions cannot be carried out after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the fetal pain bill in March calling it unconstitutional. He also said that, if the bill were to be approved again as written, he would veto it for a second time. However, Tomblin has said he is willing to work with legislators on a different version of the bill in 2015.
Unger, however, said he feels this is a bill that needs to be addressed now and that waiting is unnecessary. He said the bill can be taken up within the next few months with no additional cost to taxpayers.
“Instead of the Legislature calling itself back into session, I say the Governor provide leadership and put the issue on a call and let us address it while we’re in a interim session, be it in June or another month while we’re there,” Unger said.
The fetal pain bill passed with a majority of votes in both chambers during the 2014 Regular Legislative Session. Unger says with a pro-life Speaker, pro-life Governor, and pro-life President, he’s confident the bill will again see the Governor’s desk.
Supporters of this legislation have said they are close to meeting the required amount of support on a petition that would force a special session to address the fetal pain bill.