WV Greenlights Protections for Born-Alive Abortion Survivors

News: US News
by Kristine Christlieb  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 3, 2020   

New law requires physicians to provide care

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia has just signed into law the first state legislation protecting infants who survive abortion.

Called the Born-Alive Protection Act, the legislation passed unanimously in the state's Senate and in a 93–5 vote in the state's House of Delegates.

Only Harrison County Sen. Mike Romano (D-12) offered testimony against the legislation saying, "A child born alive who would somehow be killed, that would be murder. It would clearly be murder, there's nobody doing that and if they do do it they're in jail."

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In the House, the five delegates voting against the legislation were: Nathan Brown (D-20), Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D-51), Evan Hansen (D-51), Rodney Pyles (D-51), and Danielle Walker (D-51).

The West Virginia Senate passed a bill mandating that doctors give care to infants born alive after an attempted abortion.

In a rare show of unity on a highly controversial issue, the state's legislature and chief executive almost unanimously agreed the tiny survivors deserve the same degree of care whether they are born in a hospital or an abortion clinic.

Media Response

Media reporting on the first-ever legislation protecting infants surviving abortion took one of two tacks: they either note protection of the infant or potential punishment for physicians.

ABC's lede said: "West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Monday signed a proposal to penalize physicians who don't provide medical care to a child born after an abortion."

In its lede, The Washington Examiner reported: "The West Virginia Senate passed a bill mandating that doctors give care to infants born alive after an attempted abortion."

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W.Va. Gov. Jim Justice

Vexit!

West Virginia's protection of infant survivors of abortion is in contrast to its neighbor to the south where pediatric neurologist Dr. Ralph Northam, the state's governor, believes an infant who survives abortion should be "kept comfortable" until the mother and physicians decide whether it lives or dies.

West Virginia has invited Virginia counties dissatisfied with the direction of their government to secede and join their state. Plenty of Virginians who live on the border with West Virginia are taking the offer seriously.

Called "Vexit" (Virginia Exit), the movement first grew out of the state's sharp turn to the left on guns and abortion and got a big boost in late January when West Virginia Governor Justice and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. held a joint press conference reminding Virginians that West Virginia law permits additional territory to be "admitted into and become part of [West Virginia] with the consent of the [Virginia] legislature."

A spokeswoman for Governor Northam called Vexit an election year stunt (Justice is up for reelection in 2020) in what some are calling an "anything can happen" political climate.

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