mcloudyn.png
Sunday October 2nd, 2022 9:57PM

After abortion ruling, WVa could become 1st to pass new bill

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A bill banning abortions except in case of rape or incest is up for a final vote Friday in West Virginia's Senate, which could make the state the first to pass new legislation restricting access to abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last month removing its protected status as a constitutional right.

Several Republican-led states had “trigger” abortion bans in place in advance of the court ruling, but West Virginia lawmakers are taking action because of legal uncertainty over whether a ban from the 1800s that was upended by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision could be enforced now.

As in other states dominated by socially conservative lawmakers, there's not much question about whether abortion will be banned generally now that states have the power to do so — but whether the ban will apply to pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

In South Carolina, a ban without the exceptions has been introduced. In Arkansas, outgoing GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson would prefer to add them to the ban that's already in effect, but he has balked at asking lawmakers to address the issue in a special session.

The high-profile example of a 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio, a state without an exception for rape in its abortion restrictions, who traveled to Indiana for an abortion has amplified the debate.

Tension over the question gripped the Indiana Senate in a session that began Thursday and finally wrapped up after midnight. A final vote there is expected Saturday on the bill, which includes exceptions for rape and incest.

The West Virginia bill, which some lawmakers have complained was not vetted by any Senate committees, would mandate prison time for medical providers who perform abortions. The measure, which already passed in the House of Delegates, allows exemptions for victims of rape and incest up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. The exemption requires victims to report their assault to law enforcement.

The bill also provides other exceptions for an ectopic pregnancy, a “nonmedically viable fetus” or a medical emergency that could kill or cause a substantial and irreversible injury.

The state's only abortion clinic initially stopped offering abortions after the latest ruling, but resumed this month as it mounted a court challenge on whether the old ban applied. On July 18, a Charleston judge barred the state from enforcing the ban, ruling it had been superseded by a slew of conflicting modern laws such as a ban on abortion after 20 weeks.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice called the special legislative session to consider an abortion ban and said during a media briefing earlier this week that the abortion bill “is so important, it’s off the chart. We need modernization to our law, and what we have on the books is ancient.” He didn’t indicate whether he would sign the bill that passed the House, and the governor’s office didn’t immediately return an email Thursday requesting comment on that version.

The vote in the GOP-dominated House on Wednesday came amid a protest from dozens inside the Capitol and followed a raucous public hearing in which most speakers — given just 45 seconds each to voice their opinions or be cut off — opposed the bill.

Most of the 90 speakers who stepped to the microphone opposed the bill. They included 12-year-old Addison Gardner, a student at Buffalo Middle School, who posed a vivid hypothetical situation for lawmakers.

“If a man decides that I’m an object and does unspeakable and tragic things to me, am I, a child, supposed to carry and birth another child?" she said. "Am I to put my body through the physical trauma of pregnancy? Am I to suffer the mental implications? A child who had no say in what was being done with my body. Some in here say they are pro-life. What about my life? Does my life not matter to you?”

Another speaker, Lorrie Lugursky of West Virginians for Life, said she got pregnant at 15 and was told an abortion was her best option but didn't go through with it. “God saved my baby girl,” she said.

On Friday, people seated in the packed galleries above the Senate chamber shouted “shame on you” when the afternoon session went into recess almost as soon as it started.

When the debate finally began hours later, Democrats complained that they did not have a final version of the Senate’s bill prior to the start of Friday’s session that included a dozen amendments.

“This has been a slow-motion train wreck,” Senate Democratic leader Stephen Baldwin of Greenbrier County. "This bill would put doctors in jail for doing their job and for following their oath.”

In Indiana on Thursday, there was a nearly four-hour delay in a Senate session as lawmakers met privately to discuss the exceptions, which were ultimately left in over strong objections from some conservative lawmakers.

“Exceptions equal death for unborn innocent children,” said Sen. Mike Young, the Republican who filed an amendment that would only allow abortions to protect the life of the mother.

Eighteen Republicans ultimately joined 10 Democrats in voting to keep the rape and incest exceptions in the proposal. But the votes of many of the Republicans who voted for eliminating the exceptions will be needed for the bill to advance to the House. If not enough switch, it could keep abortion would remain legal in the state for now.

A final vote there is expected Saturday.

While legislative battles over abortion have begun, much of the fallout from the Supreme Court's decision has played out in the court system. In Louisiana, enforcement began of a near-total ban but was halted by a judge earlier this month. On Friday, a judge ruled enforcement could resume — though it was not immediately clear when.

___

For AP’s full coverage of the Supreme Court ruling on abortion, go to https://apnews.com/hub/abortion.

___

Associated Press writers Sara Cline in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Geoff Mulvihill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Arleigh Rodgers in Indianapolis contributed to this report. Rodgers is a corps members for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Health
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Mets get Naquin, reliever from Reds for 2 minor leaguers
The first-place New York Mets have acquired outfielder Tyler Naquin and left-handed reliever Phillip Diehl from the Cincinnati Reds in a trade for two minor leaguers
11:36PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Benintendi won't say whether will get vaccinated with Yanks
Andrew Benintendi wouldn’t say whether he will get vaccinated for COVID-19 now that he’s with the first-place New York Yankees rather than the last-place Kansas City Royals
11:27PM ( 32 minutes ago )
After abortion ruling, WVa could become 1st to pass new bill
A bill up for a final vote in West Virginia’s Senate could make the state the first to pass new legislation restricting access to abortions after the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling
11:26PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
High court's Sotomayor, Barrett try to persuade each other
Two of the Supreme Court justices who disagree most often on the outcomes of cases say they both still try hard to persuade each other, and sometimes succeed
9:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
Unexpected deal would boost Biden pledge on climate change
An unexpected deal reached by Senate Democrats would be the most ambitious action ever taken by the United States to address global warming and could help President Joe Biden come close to meeting his pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030
7:52PM ( 4 hours ago )
Under fire, US officials say monkeypox can still be stopped
Top U.S. health officials say the country's monkeypox outbreak can still be stopped despite rising case numbers and limited vaccine supplies
6:58PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
FBI open to settling claims by gymnasts abused by Nassar
The FBI has reached out to attorneys representing Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and other women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar to begin settlement talks in the $1 billion claim they brought against the federal government
4:28PM ( 7 hours ago )
Secret Service director delays retirement amid 1/6 scrutiny
Secret Service Director James Murray is delaying his retirement as the agency deals with an inspector general’s investigation and congressional inquiries related to missing text messages around the time of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol
4:22PM ( 7 hours ago )
Congress OKs bill to aid computer chip firms, counter China
The House has passed a $280 billion package to boost the semiconductor industry and scientific research in a bid to create more high-tech jobs in the United States and help it better compete with international rivals, namely China
3:58PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Waiting game: Watson, Browns open camp as NFL ruling looms
Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson practiced on Day 1 of training camp as the Browns began preparing for the upcoming season still not knowing if he will be suspended by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy
4:26PM ( 1 day ago )
Pressure on Senate GOP after same-sex marriage passes House
In a story published July 20, 2022 about the Respect for Marriage Act, The Associated Press cited a June Gallup poll that implied the poll was released in June 2022
11:52AM ( 2 days ago )
Indiana abortion debate draws protest crowds, vice president
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris says Indiana’s proposed abortion ban reflects a health care crisis in the United States
5:51AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
San Francisco declares emergency over monkeypox spread
The mayor of San Francisco announced a state of emergency Thursday over the growing number of monkeypox cases
6:07PM ( 5 hours ago )
Los Angeles County avoids new mask rule as COVID stabilizes
Los Angeles County has dropped a plan to impose a universal indoor mask mandate this week as COVID-19 infections and rates of hospitalizations have stabilized
5:57PM ( 6 hours ago )
If monkeypox spreads through sexual contact, is it an STD?
For most of the six decades that monkeypox has been known to affect people, it was not known as a disease that spreads through sex
5:07PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Health
Mets get Naquin, reliever from Reds for 2 minor leaguers
The first-place New York Mets have acquired outfielder Tyler Naquin and left-handed reliever Phillip Diehl from the Cincinnati Reds in a trade for two minor leaguers
11:36PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Benintendi won't say whether will get vaccinated with Yanks
Andrew Benintendi wouldn’t say whether he will get vaccinated for COVID-19 now that he’s with the first-place New York Yankees rather than the last-place Kansas City Royals
11:27PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Judge's 3rd walk-off HR of year lifts Yanks over Royals 1-0
Aaron Judge hit his third walk-off homer this year, his major league-leading 39th home run of the season, to lift the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 1-0
11:26PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Flooding in central Appalachia kills at least 8 in Kentucky
Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia
11:26PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Abortion access finds a place even in down-ballot campaigns
Some Democratic candidates in statewide down-ballot races have decided to make abortion access key to their campaigns
11:06PM ( 54 minutes ago )