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Despite Advice From Counsel, Judiciary Committee Clears Abortion Bill

Reported: Mar. 6, 2014 8:21 PM EST
Updated: Mar. 6, 2014 11:33 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) -- A much debated abortion bill is now a step closer to becoming law in West Virginia.

Despite the advice of judiciary committee counsel, who said the bill which bans abortions after 20 weeks is unconstitutional, senators voted to pass the measure onto the full body.

Speakers from both sides of the issue addressed the committee. Pro-life supporters emphasized that some medical evidence indicates that fetuses can feel pain as early as 20 weeks.

“My concern with the bill as it came over from the House is that I think that all indications are that, from similar bills that have been implemented in other states, it is unconstitutional,” Sen. Corey Palumbo, D- Kanawha, the committee’s chair, said. “I really don't think the court will uphold the bill in its current form.”
Palumbo was among the senators voting no on the measure because of his constitutional concerns. However, it passed easily on a majority voice vote.

However, several doctors said the standard for viability outside of the womb is a full month later at 24 weeks, and that if the bill becomes law it will put them in an impossible situation about deciding what medical care to offer their patients.

“The medical community, basically we're concerned about the right of our patient and decision-making taken away from physicians,” Princeton Ob-Gyn Lori Tucker said.
The bill restricting abortions now moves to the full senate for consideration.



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