Abortion Ban Passes West Virginia Senate, Goes Home

Activists demonstrate outside the Senate Chambers in the Indiana Statehouse during a special session debating the abortion ban in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., July 25, 2022. REUTERS/Cheney Orr

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July 29 (Reuters) – The Republican-controlled West Virginia Senate on Friday passed a bill that would be the first to restrict abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled there was no no constitutional right to process.

But instead of now going to the governor who has indicated he will sign it, the bill must return to the House, where it passed earlier this week, to reconcile a Senate amendment removing the possibility of prison sentences. jail for doctors who perform abortions outside of narrow exemptions. .

Several senators expressed concern about the state’s ability to attract doctors if they could face jail time for medical decisions they might make. Doctors could still have their licenses revoked if they violate the ban.

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Thirteen other Republican-controlled states previously passed so-called trigger laws aimed at banning most abortions after the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

West Virginia still had a law on its books from the 1800s that banned abortions except when a pregnant person’s life was in danger, but a state judge earlier this month stopped authorities from to apply. Read more

In response, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice ordered lawmakers back from recess for an emergency session.

Abortions are legal at West Virginia’s only abortion clinic up to 20 weeks after fertilization. The bill would ban abortions except where there is a serious threat to the life of a pregnant woman or a medically non-viable fetus.

It also provides exceptions for rape or incest up to eight weeks of pregnancy for an adult and up to 14 weeks for a minor if the victim can prove they reported the assault to law enforcement. .

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Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Additional reporting by Nate Raymond and Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Lincoln Feast.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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