WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) — West Virginia has become the third state to outlaw second-trimester dismemberment abortion after the state Legislature voted March 10 to override Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.
“The West Virginia Legislature and the pro-life people in our state have been very strong in showing their support for the protection of human life,” Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston said in a statement.
“I commend all those who have worked so hard not only in the passing of this bill, but to override the governor’s veto as well,” he said.
Tomblin vetoed the bill March 9. The next day, the House of Delegates voted 85-15 to override the veto and the Senate voted 25-9. If the law is unchallenged, the ban will go into effect in May.
The bill outlaws a form of second-trimester abortion that “dismember(s) a living unborn child and extract(s) him or her one piece at a time from the uterus.”
“To allow this in our society is unbelievable, especially when medical technology gives us a clear picture of the living child — a child able to experience pain — inside the womb,” Bishop Bransfield said in a statement following the Legislature’s passage of the bill in February. “To allow it to go on is one of the most selfish dimensions of our society. I commend all those who have worked so hard in the passing of this bill.”
Wanda Franz, president of West Virginians for Life, also praised the state Legislature for overriding the governor’s veto.
“We are extremely grateful for the pro-life leadership and legislators who voted to override the governor’s veto, therefore voting to protect West Virginia’s unborn children from this barbaric dismemberment procedure,” Franz said.
This is the second time the state Legislature has overridden Tomblin’s veto of an abortion ban.
Last year, lawmakers overrode his veto of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions 20 weeks after conception. That was the first time in almost 30 years the Legislature voted to override a governor’s veto.
Rowan is editor of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103