CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said he has signed the abortion bill passed in the West Virginia Legislature on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
“The final piece of legislation was the passage of the bill that I call that protects life. Many people refer to it as an abortion bill. It has come to my desk, and I want to tell you right now exactly, I have done exactly, what I said I would do, I signed it. It’s done. It is absolutely done,” Justice said.
The bill, which is meant to clarify the state’s abortion laws, calls for a ban of abortion with limited exceptions. These exceptions include non-viable fetuses, fetal anomalies and medical emergencies.
There are also exceptions for rape and incest but these cases are restricted up to 8 weeks for adults and 14 weeks for minors. In both cases, the bill specifies that the victim must report to law enforcement first.
Additionally, under the Legislation, all legal abortions must be performed in a hospital.
If a doctor were to perform an illegal abortion, they would not be subject to criminal penalties but they would have their license revoked. Conversely, if an unlicensed professional performed an illegal abortion, they would face felony charges and be subject to anywhere from three to ten years in prison.
Any pregnant women who receives an illegal abortion would not be subject to any penalties.
Now that Gov. Justice has signed the bill into law, it will become effective immediately, except for the criminal penalties. Gov. Justice noted the criminal penalties won’t take effect for another 90 days.