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March For The Unborn At Capitol

Reported: Apr. 1, 2014 11:19 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 1, 2014 11:38 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) - A massive march and candlelight vigil for the unborn at the Capitol last night. Their ultimate hope is to get the Legislature called back-in and override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's veto of that controversial abortion last Friday night. Or else they'll have to wait until the next session to make any changes.

West Virginians For Life are outraged Tomblin vetoed the bill, which would ban late-term abortions.

"When he has claimed for years that he's pro-life, now this proves he's not," said Melody Potter, who is with the Republican Party National Committee, and who organized the march.

Tomblin vetoed the bill ten minutes before the biggest pro-life dinner in the state in Morgantown.

"This is a very easy bill. 80-percent of Americans support banning late-term abortions, when babies can feel excruciating pain in the womb," said Kristan Hawkins, who is President of Students For Life For America. "So for the Governor to veto this bill 10 minutes before the pro-life dinner, it was pretty shocking, pretty hurtful."

In a statement, the Governor said his attorneys advised him the language in the bill was unconstitutional, which is why he could not sign it.

Supporters argue a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.

"They have a heart, a brain, fingernails, that's one of the times in a human being's life," said Potter. "Even over an adult, they can feel pain at the highest level."

So they marched through the Capitol complex to the Governor's home, lit candles, and said prayers for the unborn children. They also collected diapers for the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Charleston. The lights were on at his home, but there was no way to tell if Tomblin was inside and hearing their plea.

"You remember a pro-life Earl Ray Tomblin,” we said to Hawkins. “So were you surprised or stunned when you heard he vetoed this down? “Yeah,” she said. “I was pretty shocked. Our national headquarters is in Washington DC and I started calling all my friends from West Virginia and I said what happened?"

Their hope? To get the Legislature called back in, to override the veto.

"What are the chances of that realistically happening?,” we asked. “Is there a precedent for this? “I think maybe it happened in the 80's,” said Potter. “When they were called back into session, not quite of this magnitude, that has to do with baby's lives."

The next step is reaching out to Senator Joe Manchin, whom they hope will co-sponsor legislation in the U.S. Senate, for a similar bill which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives this past summer. A legal team is looking into what it would take to call the Legislature back. They admit it's a long-shot, but not impossible.



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