The Democrat-led West Virginia state senate passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act over the weekend by a vote of 29-5, with the support of 19 Democrats. The legislation had previously been passed by the Democrat-controlled state house by a vote of 79-17 with the support of 33 Democrats.
The measure now rests with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat who states he is pro-life.
The bill, which would protect unborn children beginning at 20 weeks of pregnancy, is based on scientific evidence that demonstrates that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain by 20 weeks of life.
Pro-life groups are praising the legislation and calling upon U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who claims to be pro-life, to co-sponsor the companion federal legislation, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 1670). To date, S. 1670 has 40 co-sponsors, none of them Democrats.
“West Virginia will soon become the latest state to pass legislation to protect unborn children from the painful death of abortion after 20 weeks – more than halfway through pregnancy,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a press release. “Momentum is growing for this popular measure to move forward in Washington as well, where Senate Democrats should take a cue from their West Virginia counterparts.”
“We encourage Senator Joe Manchin to embrace his self-avowed pro-life position and become the first Democratic cosponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” Dannenfelser added. “If Majority Leader Reid, who has also called himself pro-life in the past, intends to make good on his promise to ‘take a look’ at this compassionate measure, now is the time. The majority of Americans – and women in even higher numbers than men – support this law.”
“The Family Policy Council is thrilled to be one of the voices in the growing conservative choir in West Virginia’s fight for the lives of the pre-born,” said Allen Whitt, president of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. “We believe that we are witnessing a bona fide miracle with the imminent passage of the first abortion-limiting bill in our state’s history.”
A CNN poll released last week found that more than half of Americans believe abortion should be restricted. Of those polled, 38 percent said abortion should be legal in few circumstances, and 20 percent said abortion should always be illegal.