West Virginia Legislature Votes to Reverse Tomblin's Veto of Abortion Ban Bill

Mar 10, 2016

The West Virginia Legislature has voted to reverse Governor Tomblin's veto of a bill to ban a certain second-trimester abortion method. 

Senators voted 25 to 9 Thursday morning, while House members voted 85 to 15 during an afternoon floor session to overturn the veto. 

Tomblin vetoed Senate Bill 10 Wednesday evening. In his veto message, the governor said the bill was overbroad and "unduly burdens a woman's fundamental constitutional right to privacy."

The bill bans dilation and evacuation abortions unless the physician first stops the heart of the fetus. The bill does not prohibit the abortions in cases of medical emergency. 

There are no criminal or civil penalties included in the bill, but doctors who perform the method could lose their physicians licenses. 

Those opposed to the bill have said it interferes with the doctor-patient relationship and takes away the safest option for women. 

"Quite honestly, a second trimester abortion is something that's troubling to most of us, myself included," Sen. Corey Palumbo said on the floor, "but this bill has been found unconstitutional in two states, but beyond that, we're saying the safest procedure cannot be. We're requiring them to do the less safe procedure that we've been told is sometimes impossible."

Similar laws have been deemed unconstitutional in Kansas and Oklahoma.