Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passes the House - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passes WV House of Delegates

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For about three hours Feb. 25, debate reigned on the floor of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

The long debate revolved around the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, House Bill 4588, which would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks unless the act was done in order to save the mother's life or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions.

Debate for and against the passage of the proposed bill came from both sides of the aisle.

Those against the bill repeated the argument of a women's choice, while those in support of the bill argued the question, "What about the choice of the unborn child?"

Many who argued for passage of the bill pointed out the significance of the title of the bill, with "Pain Capable" being an integral distinction. The bill would save unborn children from having to experience the pain of having abortion instruments dismembering their fully developed body, they said.

The bill was scheduled for a second reading Feb. 25, and lawmakers voted to suspend the Constitutional rule that a bill be read three times on three separate days a vote is taken. When the issue finally came up for a vote after the long debate, it passed by a vote of 79-17. The bill's lead sponsor was Delegate David Perry, D-Fayette. Its 10 other sponsors all are Democrats.

The bill now will be debated in the Senate.