Liz McCormick Published

House Judiciary Passes Dismemberment-Abortion Ban


A Senate bill that would ban elective dismemberment abortions in the state is now making its way through the House. The bill was the subject of a public hearing Monday and passed through the House Health Committee before being taken up by the Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

Senate Bill 10, as approved in the Senate last week, would ban what are commonly referred to as dismemberment abortions or dilation and evacuation abortions, D&E. The ban would not apply in cases of medical emergencies.

Physicians have testified before lawmakers that the method is the safest option, but Delegate Joe Ellington, the House Health Committee Chair and a practicing OBGYN, says there are other procedures that can ensure the death of the fetus before D&E takes place, like injections to stop the heart. Under this bill, those procedures would still be allowed.

Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer is a Democrat from Monongalia County. She spoke against the bill.

“This is an emotional topic, and I understand we have differing views, but there’s one thing we all took an oath to uphold and that is the constitution, and I don’t think we have the right to pick and choose which parts of the constitution we’re going to obey,” she said.

The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 10. It now goes to the House floor for consideration.

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.