A west Virginia state House committee has passed a bill that would save babies from abortion by banning all abortions after 15 weeks. The bill is modeled on legislation from Mississippi that received a hearing before the Supreme Court in December and that pro-life advocates expect will be upheld.
The Committee on Health and Human Resources Thursday voted down a number of attempts by pro-abortion members of the panel to water down the legislation.
Before the final vote, committee vice-chairman Del. Dean Jeffries, R-Kanawha, said he was very comfortable and honored to vote for the bill. He talked about becoming a grandfather and witnessing the baby’s beating heart and seeing images of the organs.
“I’m very comfortable making this vote today,” Jeffries said. “I am very honored to deliver a promise to my constituents. As a soon-to-be grandfather of twin boys, I can tell you at 15 weeks I witnessed a beating heart, functioning vital organs, an ability to make gestures and even suck a thumb. I saw formed lips, eyelids, and a nose. At that point, I knew this legislation is just and it is right.”
The bill still needs to go through the House’s Judiciary Committee before it goes to the full House.
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The committee also passed a bill that bans the sale, transfer and transportation of fetal body parts within the state.
The House Health and Human Resources Committee will hold a public hearing on the bills 3 p.m. Monday.
One legislator talked about how seeing an ultrasound of an unborn baby reminder her of the value of human life.
“I actually have a sister-in-law who is pregnant with my first niece. Her name is Macy, and just last week I was able to see a video of an ultrasound that she just recently had at 16 weeks and two days, and it was so incredibly beautiful because we got to see and hear her heart beating almost rhythmically, and so for me when I looked at that ultra sound picture, I felt this deep love and passion for her, but I also felt a little bit of pain because in West Virginia, she could be killed at this moment in pregnancy, and I’m not okay with that,” said Republican Del. Kayla Kessinger Fayette.
West Virginia voters approved an addition to the state Constitution in 2018, stating that “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”
West Virginia is one of 20 states with “trigger bans” that would go into effect should the Supreme Court reverse itself on Roe v. Wade.