by John Carey, WVFL Legislative Coordinator

West Virginians for Life is Scoring the Vote!

In a move today, West Virginians for Life is informing Senate Judiciary Committee members that any action, which changes the 20 week provision in HB 4588, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, will be scored.
(Charleston – March 6, 2014)  The following information was distributed to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today:
  • HB 4588 asserts that there is a substantial body of evidence which demonstrates that certainly by 20 weeks an unborn child feels pain.
  • To change the date at which the child will be protected from 20 weeks to 24 weeks changes the law to one of re-asserting the viability standard of Roe vs. Wade, which allows the abortionist to perform abortions at will after viability.
  • To change the purpose of HB 4588 from one of protecting the unborn child to one of re-stating viability is to create a law, which will not protect children from being aborted after 24 weeks.
  • Nebraska, which had the 24-weeks viability standard as the basis of their law, did not protect unborn children from being aborted by Carhart, the notorious late term abortionist. Once the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was passed in Nebraska, this late term abortion practitioner moved to Maryland to continue his practice.
  • Any initiative to move the weeks beyond 20 from fertilization weakens the assertion that HB 4588 is about protecting the baby from pain and will lead the court to assert that the law is really about viability, as established by Roe.
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is alive and well in 8 states.
  • The National Right to Life (NRL) model legislation, identified as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, has been passed by 10 states and is currently being enforced in 8 states. Two states, Idaho and Georgia are enjoined, pending litigation.
  • The Fifth Circuit was asked to consider the Texas law by Pro-Abortion forces because they considered the abortion clinic laws as too stringent, but the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was not challenged. We think this is because the Court would have upheld that portion of the law.
  • Arizona’s Law was struck down by the 9th Circuit but it is nothing like the model legislation established by the NRL.  It was based on the health of the mother.
  • Currently 8 states have laws, fully supported by the legislature and attorney general in each of the states, based on the concept that unborn children feel pain at 20 weeks and deserve to be protected by the state.
  • At least three more legislatures are expected to pass NRL Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection bills this year.