by John Carey, WVFL Legislative Coordinator


(Charleston – February 14, 2014)  West Virginians’ voices were heard loud and clear at the State Capitol on Tuesday, February 11th, as all three galleries in the House of Delegates were filled to overflowing with pro-life supporters.  Nearly 300 were present to see Delegate Tim Armstead, Minority Leader of the House, rise in support of a motion to “Discharge the Committee” to allow HB 2364, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, to be voted on by the entire House.  This procedural move was defeated on a tie vote of 48 to 48.  All of the House Republicans who were present and two Democrats voted in support of the motion, and 48 Democrats voted to oppose.  The two Democrats, who voted to support the motion were Delegates Jeff Eldridge (D-Lincoln) and Ricky Moye (D-Raleigh).  Only four Delegates were not present to vote.  See vote tally here.  After the vote was cast, there was a time set aside for remarks by the Delegates.

The first to rise was Delegate Tim Armstead, the leader of the Republican Party in the House and champion of the effort to advance HB 2364.  He stated an opportunity had just been missed by the House to advance the Pain-Capable legislation and the fact that an unborn child who feels pain should be protected.  He then went on to point out that West Virginia is one of only six states which allow – and fund – abortion throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.

Here is an excerpt of his closing remarks:

“Ladies and Gentleman, it’s time that we recognize that when we are talking about a child who is capable of feeling pain, that that is not a child that should be aborted.  We should take the steps to protect that child, and that is what this bill is about.  That is what this effort was about.  I am disappointed, but I do hope we can ultimately pass a bill to protect unborn children who can feel pain.”


As he concluded his remarks, the House galleries erupted in sustained cheers and applause.  This spontaneous expression of support for Delegate Armstead’s remarks was not planned.  It was not orchestrated.  It came about because everyone in the galleries could not remain silent.  Clearly, these cheers represented the voice of the vast majority of West Virginians who are tired of waiting for the legislature to take action to pass pro-life legislation.

The following day, Democratic legislators delayed the start of the session twice, once at 11 AM and again at 2 PM, to discuss the previous day’s vote.  They finally emerged at close to 3 PM.  Only then did they decide to reconvene the session and reveal that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would be taken up in the Health and Human Resources Committee.  As this move became apparent, legislators began to ask to be put on the bill as a sponsor. The lead sponsor is Delegate Dave Perry (D-Fayette) with cosponsors Doug Reynolds, Doug Skaff, Peggy Donaldson Smith, Linda Sumner, John Pino, Rick Moye, Paul Espinosa, Jeff Eldridge, Denise Campbell and Dale Stephens.

To date, pro-life lobbyists have been prevented from meeting with Chairman of the Health Committee, Delegate Don Perdue (D-Wayne).  It appears this is about to change, thanks to those 48 legislators who voted to discharge the committee as well as the 300 who took a stand for life with their presence and spontaneous affirmation of Delegate Tim Armstead’s remarks.

It is expected that HB 2364 will be on the Health and Human Resources Committee agenda next week (the week of February 17).

We must never forget the 46 Republicans and two Democrats who took a stand for life last Tuesday. Without their actions, it is very unlikely that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would have been advanced this session.  We can be thankful for those who took a stand on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.

ACTION ALERT!!!  It’s time to complete the job by motivating legislators on the Health & Human Resources Committee to support this legislation.  Members of the Health Committee are listed below.  If any represent your county (counties listed beside names), please both call (you can leave a voicemail message) and email them before 2:00 p.m. on Monday, February 17, with this message:


“Please get H.B. 2364, no substitutes, on the

Health Committee agenda for a vote.”

Please spread the word to those you know to take action and call for support of this bill.


Delegate Don Perdue – (Wayne) Chair  304-340-3269

Delegate Barbara Fleischauer – (Mon) Vice-Chair  304-340-3169

Delegate Joe Ellington – (Mercer, Raleigh) Minority Chair  304-340-3172

Delegate Eric Householder – (Berkeley) Minority Vice  304-340-3274

Delegate Josh Barker  (Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam)  304-340-3152

Delegate Campbell, D.  (Pocahontas, Randolph) 304-340-3145

Delegate Phil Diserio  (Brooke, Ohio)  304-340-3367

Delegate Jeff Eldridge (Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam)  304-340-3113

Delegate Nancy Peoples Guthrie (Kanawha)  304-340-3156

Delegate Timothy Kinsey (Wayne)  304-340-3155

Delegate Tiffany Lawrence (Jefferson)  304-340-3152

Delegate Charlene Marshall (Monongalia)  304-340-3900

Delegate Clif Moore (McDowell, Mercer)  304-340-3189

Delegate Meshea Poore (Kanawha)  304-340-3106

Delegate Margaret Anne Staggers (Clay, Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh)  304-340-3197

Delegate Karen Arvon (Raleigh, Wyoming)  304-340-3384

Delegate Daryl Cowles (Hampshire, Morgan)  304-340-3177

Delegate Larry Faircloth (Berkeley)  304-340-3147

Delegate Patrick Lane (Kanawha, Putnam)  304-340-3275

Delegate Carol Miller (Cabell, Lincoln)  304-340-3176

Delegate Amanda Pasdon (Monongalia)  304-340-3153

Delegate Ruth Rowan (Hampshire, Mineral)  304-340-3157

Delegate Anna Border Sheppard (Wirt, Wood)  304-340-3136

Delegate Kelli Sobonya (Cabell) (304) 340-3175