Pro-life groups in West Virginia are waiting to see if there will be a tug of war between West Virginia lawmakers and the governor over a pro-life bill.
The legislature has passed SB 10/HB 4004, a bill banning dismemberment abortions, sending it to Governor Ray Tomblin. Dr. Wanda Franz of West Virginians for Life explains the procedure.
"These living babies in the womb are torn apart piece by piece with sharp instruments. They bleed to death," she begins. "The procedure is just really quite sickening and unfortunate – and we believe that it undermines the public's belief in the dignity of human life .... We really are proud that we've been able to outlaw it."
According to the WVFL president, there's another reason why dismemberment abortions have caught the attention of many lawmakers.
"Certainly by 20 weeks the babies are feeling pain from this procedure – and this is also the procedure that is the most used second-trimester procedure," Franz describes. "Ninety-plus percent of all second-trimester abortions are done using this procedure."
It's still uncertain whether Tomblin will sign The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, although West Virginians for Life is confident ample votes are there for an override. The governor vetoed a bill last session that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, but lawmakers overrode the veto.
Dismemberment bans passed in Oklahoma and Kansas are tied up in court.