Bishop backs bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston said the Legislature “must pass” the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and ban abortions in West Virginia after 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

“The fact is, at 20 weeks, they will feel the pain of the abortion,” said Bishop Michael Bransfield on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline” in support of HB 4588.

“So why can’t we get a culture where it’s demanded, where we have no choice but to allow it (abortions), to at least do it in the most humane way possible and not to become somewhat barbaric by not caring what level of pain that fetus will feel?”

The bill does include an exception for the ban in cases of medical emergencies.

Critics have argued lawmakers should stay out of what is personal decision between a woman and her doctor.

But Bishop Bransfield said he thinks it’s appropriate for the Legislature to address the matter.

“The law is there to protect the innocent.  The Legislature must protect the innocent.  To me, after 20 weeks, you’re talking about a very innocent fetus, child inside the womb and it needs the protection of the law,” he said on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

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