A motion to discharge House Bill 2364 or the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act from committee and put it up for immediate vote was rejected on February 11th.
The bill was re-branded as House Bill 4588 and labeled as protecting unborn children who are capable of experiencing pain by prohibiting abortion after twenty weeks and was passed by two committees and appeared on the floor for vote during a late session.
Supporters of the bill said that it protects unborn children that can feel pain according to some medical reports.
Opponents of the bill felt that some of the language was unconstitutional, citing a similar bill in Arizona that was struck down in the courts.
Supporter of the bill Delegate Woody Ireland said that if there were concerns about the bill, why they should have been dealt with in the committee progress.
“Where were those amendments during the committee process?” Ireland asked. “The committee process didn’t work very well because the debate was stymied both in the Health and Judiciary from my understanding, but if there were those concerns why haven’t they been dealt with?”
An opponent of the bill Delegate Meshea Poore brought up the fact that abortion had not been brought up in the Women’s Caucus and then presented the issue from a different perspective.
“Now let’s say this, how many of you all in this room have had a sexually transmitted disease?” Poore asked. “How many of you all suffer from erectile dysfunction? Raise your hand. Any of you in here taking Viagra? Let us know. You see how offensive that is of me to ask? You see how I’m getting in to your bedroom, how I’m getting in your boxers? Stay out of mine.”
The bill was passed by a vote of 79-17.
The question now is if the Senate will take the bill up.