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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 Mary Anne Buchanan, Communications Director (304) 594-9845
WEST VIRGINIANS FOR LIFE ON 2013 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
During the 2013 legislative session, no votes were taken on WVFL legislative initiatives. Only two votes were taken on pro-life issues on the floor of the House of Delegates. Both votes were in response to legislation that was introduced without our involvement.
The first vote was on S.B. 604, which passed the Senate unanimously. It has the effect of “chilling” our speech during the elections, which controls our ability to inform the public about the candidates running for office. Because WVFL is the voice for unborn babies and other vulnerable West Virginians, we had to fight to protect our unimpeded speech efforts on their behalf during the elections. For this reason, we asked the delegates to vote against S.B. 604 when it came up in the House.
The bill passed 52-47-1, roughly according to party lines. Delegates Jeff Eldridge (D-Lincoln), Ricky Moye (D-Raleigh), David Perry (D-Fayette) and Peggy Donaldson-Smith (D-Lewis) were the only Democrats voting against the bill, while John Ellem (R-Wood) and Bill Hamilton (R-Upshur) voted for it. Please thank all those who opposed this bill, which inhibits the speech of issue organizations like West Virginians for Life.
Toward the end of the session, Delegate Patrick Lane offered an amendment to the Budget Bill, H.B. 2014, which was defeated 45-53-2. Delegate Ryan Ferns, D-Ohio, was the lone Democrat to vote for the amendment. The Lane Amendment was modeled after the Pain-Capable legislation introduced in the House and the Senate this year by WVFL and would restrict funding for abortion after the baby can feel pain at the 20th week of gestation. While many in the House understood the importance of restricting abortion because of pain, for many legislators this is a new concept. A study is expected during the summer Interim which will give legislators an opportunity to more fully understand the fetal pain issue.
Please thank those who supported this legislation! If you have an opportunity to speak to those who opposed the Lane Amendment, please make them aware of the website www.wvflfetalpainbill.org.
The Lane Amendment was sponsored by the following Delegates: Lane, Cowles, Armstead, Gearheart, Ambler, Arvon, Border, Butler, Cadle, Cooper, Espinosa, D. Evans, Faircloth, Folk, Frich, Hamrick, Howell, Ireland, Kump, McCuskey, Miller, Overington, Pasdon, Rowan, R. Smith, Sobonya, Storch, Sumner, Walters and Westfall.