The West Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, HB 2568, successfully made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote on Thursday. It will be on first reading on the Senate floor on Monday.

National Right to Life attorney Jennifer Popik and OB-Gyn Dr. Mike Rollins testified in favor of the legislation.

Popik testified that the legislation is considered “a case of first impression,” and that no court has determined it to be unconstitutional.

Pro-life Senators warded off four hostile amendments before passage.

If HB 2568 is taken up for second reading on Tuesday and third reading on Wednesday, February 25, it is expected to pass and then will be sent to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s desk. Tomblin recently said he planned to veto the legislation again this year when it reaches his desk, despite overwhelming bi-partisan support in both Houses.

The WV House passed HB 2568 on February 11, by an 87-12 margin with two-thirds of the House Democrats having voted for it.

“This bill reflects the most current medical research, which clearly demonstrates that human beings feel pain beginning at least by 20 weeks gestation,” said West Virginians for Life President Wanda Franz. “It protects West Virginia children from pain and abuse from the beginning of the time that they are capable of suffering from pain.”

West Virginians for Life Legislative Coordinator John Carey said, “The majority of West Virginia legislators clearly want to protect unborn children. We hope the Governor will take that into account.”

Senate passage will be in time for a veto override.


Press Release in pdf here.