CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginians for Life lobbyist John Carey said on MetroNews Talkline Friday the organization is continuing its efforts to collect enough signatures from state lawmakers to force a legislative session on the vetoed fetal pain bill.

Carey already has the required 60 percent of the 34-member Senate who have signed on but is currently three signatures short of that percentage in the 100-member House. He said Friday he remains confident.

“I’m getting some call backs from some folks who want to sign on. I’m encouraged that we’re getting close to where we need to be,” he said.

The fetal pain bill would make abortions illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The House and Senate gave it overwhelming approval earlier this year but Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed it because of concerns about its constitutionality and concerns expressed by doctors.

West Virginia Free lobbyist Margaret Chapman-Pomponio said on Talkline Friday the legislature and governor have spoken and the issue should be put to rest.

“It makes no sense to return to this issue and take up so much time and resources when we could be focused on issues like jobs, the economy and education,” she said.

Carey said supporters can address some of the governor’s concerns but there will be no compromise on the 20-week issue. Gov. Tomblin previously told MetroNews 24-weeks would be more favorable to him.

Chapman-Pomponio said women and doctors are being left out of the discussion.

“We really believe that we have to advocate for physicians to practice medicine in their best medical judgment,” she said.

Carey said supporters would rather have the governor call a special session instead of the rare petition process being used. State Senate President Jeff Kessler advocated a similar move earlier this week. Carey said the momentum is with pro-life forces.

“A lot of the arguments that have been used to keep this issue from coming forward are going away,” he said. “I think it’s becoming pretty clear that little by little we are winning this debate.”

Tomblin has said he would veto the bill again if it stays in its present form.

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  • Smith

    Waste of time. You may not like the constitution but it still exists. Respect it or leave.

  • Worm

    What you are debating and what are getting are politicians grandstanding for a vote. Playing everyone like a fool....which they are master at doing.

  • steve davis

    Simple the unborn baby something other than a human baby at 20 weeks? if the answer is "no", what exactly are we debating?

  • Bruiser

    Very tough subject but when you see what we condone, whether you are republican or democrat, we need to all bow our heads in shame. We have more sympathy for animals that the unborn child. It is a life, something that has a heartbeat, is a life. Before attacking one's beliefs do actual research yourself. Blame it on religion, but maybe it is really what is right or wrong.

  • Pickle Barrel

    Chapman-Pomponio said women and doctors are being left out of the discussion.

    “We really believe that we have to advocate for physicians to practice medicine in their best medical judgment,” she said.

    Wow. Only other time I've seen murder referred to as "practicing medicine" was when the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele was conducting his horrific experiments on Jewish concentration camp prisoners.

  • The right to live

    Abortion is KILLING PERIOD!!!! When people protest against abortion you turds say it is all about politics. When you turds protest for abortion you say it for your rights.. Ever time there is a issue about abortion you idiots blame the GOP and religion You same idiots believe the baby is not alive until it is born but it has heart beat DUH!!!! no wonder some states call us dumb hillbillies...

  • wv4evah

    Again, slanted reporting. Twice, the misleading phrase "pro-life" is used to describe one side of the debate. But when it comes to the other side, no such descriptor is's just the name of the group. The sin is especially egregious because I doubt that anybody is going to be confused by which side the self-proclaimed "West Virginians for Life" is on.

    As I've said before: shameful.

  • george

    If our Governor doesn't even believe in protecting the life of the unborn how can he be sincere in protecting the citizens of West Virginia and it's children????????????

  • steve

    Lets just do the right thing instead of running scared of the challenges--a child is a child at 20 weeks--period--if you believe in killing babies than veto this bill again.............but you Democrats better be aware you're on shakey ground as the election is not far ahead.....

  • ricardo

    All for a bill that would have banned 6 abortions last year. Abortions which would have been performed in a bordering state anyway and which may have been medically required even under this law to protect the life of the mother. BTW Roe vs Wade set 22 weeks as the cut off. What a bunch of election year crap orchestrated by the GOP.

    • Abram

      Now here is liberal idiocy. At 22 weeks you could hold this child in your hands. But the democrats and their hitler youth have convinced you that not being there for the murder makes it right. The only difference between a liberal child killer here in the US and the father in India that stoned his daughter to death (because a law on their books allowed him) is 26 years.

  • GregG

    Ok, enough is enough! I'm tired of hearing about this issue over and over and over. Why don't you people just grow a set and admit that this is all about politics and religion! The issue of "abortion" could have been solved years ago if common sense would be used instead of religion and politics. Here is a cases of incest, rape or medical reasons, the right to an abortion should be that of the mother...period!! In all other cases the baby should be carried.....BUT.....and here is where all you bible clutching republicans are going to scream "F" No!!!............the state should form an agency that handles ALL unwanted births. This agency could be funded by pulling the tax exempt status of the church and placing those monies into the agencies budget. It's duties should be the care and support for these unwanted babies. The state should also set up an expense free adoption process and should also provide medical care for said child as long as they are enrolled in schooling. The state should also provide college tuition for all adopted children that want to further their education. But I'm betting that all these people that want to be viewed as God fearing, fetus caring individuals wouldn't be so loving and concerned if a solution such as this was one was placed on the table. They like to play the "fine Christian" role, but mention pulling their tax exempt status and you will find out they are not as "Christian" as they want everyone to believe.

    • Abram

      Satan could not have said it better! The problem is he would be bluffing...

  • Brighter Future

    It is truly sad that people like Ms. Chapman-Pomponio continue to advocate for the brutal murder of so many children.

    • ricardo

      This law covered 6 abortions in WV last year. Sad that you people still refuse to give our adolescents the information and means to prevent unwanted pregnancies with so called Abstinence Programs that don't work. Before there is ever an abortion there is an unwanted pregnancy! Stop unwanted pregnancies with educational programs and easy access to condoms and birth control for sexually active young people if you really want to reduce abortions rather than just make political statements.

  • Worm

    With all the problems facing this State...a waste of time and money on an issue that will never be over turned. This is why the state is dead last on any meaningful economic or social standing.

    • Abram

      "Forget what you see in the death camps, let's focus on roads" Adolph Hitler