On this episode of The Legislature Today, reporter Chris Schulz spoke with Margaret Pomponio, CEO of reproductive health and rights advocacy group WV FREE, to learn more about HB 2002. If passed, the bill would create the West Virginia Mothers and Babies Pregnancy Support program and fund Pregnancy Help Organizations to encourage women to give birth in the case of unplanned pregnancy.
The bill comes after the legislature passed a law during last summer’s special session that outlaws abortion with a few exceptions for rape and to preserve the life of the mother.
We also explore bills in the House and Senate calling for the reorganization of the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources into three separate agencies. HB 2247 is currently making rounds in the House of Delegates, while the Senate has already passed SB 126. Both bills would split the DHHR into three entities: the Department of Health, the Department of Health Facilities and the Department of Human Services.
We also have our first reporter roundtable of the legislative session. Reporters Randy Yohe and Chris Schulz sat down with West Virginia MetroNews’ statewide correspondent Brad McElhinny to discuss what they saw this week and what they expect the major stories will be in the coming weeks.
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The Legislature Today is West Virginia’s only television/radio simulcast devoted to covering the state’s 60-day regular legislative session.
Watch or listen to new episodes Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.