by Steven Ertelt
November 11, 2005
Charleston, WV (LifeNews.com) — West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin didn’t like an inter-party protest stop him from speaking last night at a dinner sponsored by West Virginians for Life. The governor is a Democrat and some pro-abortion lawmakers in his party said his appearance would be helping the pro-life group try to defeat them in the next election.
Melissa Adkins, the legislative coordinator for WVFL told the 200 people who attended the event that the outcry by abortion advocates helped raise awareness about the dinner. She even told attendees they should thank pro-abortion Delegate Carrie Webster, who caused the biggest stir.
In the weeks leading up to the event, Webster blasted Manchin for planning to attend.
She said attending the dinner put Manchin out of line with the state party platform, which promotes "the right of every woman to make choices regarding reproduction."
But Manchin went ahead with his 20-minute address and praised the pro-life group for its work.
Manchin said abortion often gets stereotyped as a Democrat vs. Republican issue but he said many people on both sides of the aisle value life.
"This is a movement," he said. "This is a personal matter…all over this great nation."
"It was misstated," Manchin said, according to a Charleston Daily Mail report, "that this was going to be a political dinner. I’ve been coming since it began. It’s always been about education."
Manchin said that, for him, being pro-life isn’t just a smart political message in a pro-life state, but a matter of his core values.
"Everyone’s trying to find their message that will resonate and make people want to vote for them," he said. "I said, ‘Be who you are.’ "
After the last legislative session, the governor signed into law a measure known as Christy and Ashley’s Law, which would allow prosecutors to charge criminals who attack a pregnant woman and kill or injure her unborn baby with two crimes.