Emily Rice Published

Lawmakers Discuss Informed Consent Abortion

A gavel next to a sign that reads the word abortion.Dollar Photo

A bill moved through the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee on Thursday that would require medical professionals to educate someone granted an abortion in West Virginia about possible risks.

Abortion is banned in West Virginia with exceptions for rape, incest, or to save a pregnant person’s life.

Senate Bill 352 requires physicians to offer those who are granted an abortion in West Virginia an ultrasound and information on the gestational age of the fetus or embryo and possible risks associated with the procedure.

The bill states that consent is only voluntary and informed if the licensed medical professional informs the patient of the medical risks associated with the particular abortion procedure including the possibility of infection, hemorrhage, danger to subsequent pregnancies, infertility and reversal. 

Physicians would also be required to educate patients on options for perinatal hospice services if they carry a non-viable pregnancy to term.

Sen. Patricia Rucker, a R-Jefferson,  said the bill does not further restrict abortion in West Virginia.

“What this does is ensure women have informed decisions, and information to make decisions under the limited circumstances we allow,” Rucker said.

The committee substitute for Senate Bill 352, Modifying the Unborn Child Protection Act, passed the committee and goes to the full Senate floor for consideration.