West Virginia Gov Jim Justice Signs Bill to Help Pregnant Moms, Save Babies From Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 29, 2023   |   5:06PM   |   Charleston, West Virginia

Today, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed into law the Support for Mothers and Babies Act (HB 2002), which provides funding for Pregnancy Help organizations in West Virginia.

The bill will support mothers during pregnancy and after a child is born. The new law establishes the West Virginia Mothers and Babies Pregnancy Support Program to support mothers by creating a funding mechanism for the state’s pregnancy help centers.

The West Virginia Mothers and Babies Pregnancy Support Program establishes a fund of $1 million by the state. The DHHR will designate a third-party contractor which will manage the funding for Pregnancy Help Centers.

These centers may be Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs), Maternity Homes, or Perinatal Hospice Centers across West Virginia. Only pro-life organizations who do not commit or refer for abortions may qualify to receive this funding.

The funding can be used to purchase items for mothers, educational materials, equipment, perinatal hospice services, update facilities, hire medical staff, and more. PRCs are non-profit, pro-life organizations whose sole purpose is to provide free services, resources and emotional support to women and families in need.

Gov. Justice’s signature comes two days after a West Virginia abortion facility announced it will open up for business five miles from the West Virginia border in Cumberland, Maryland. Under its new name, “The Women’s Health Center of Maryland” will perform abortions well into the second trimester on babies with beating hearts who can feel pain.

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This week’s developments reveal the stark contrast between the neighboring states’ respect for human rights, says Caitlin Connors, southern regional director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America:

“West Virginia’s pregnancy centers empower women and impact lives for the better every day. These organizations provide free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, medical exams, counseling, parent classes, financial classes, and resources such as food, diapers, clothing, and financial assistance for housing and utilities. The pregnancy help centers are engaging in a labor of love. West Virginia’s former abortion facility has chosen a very different path – setting up shop just across the border in Maryland to make a profit at the expense of human lives. This is possible because of Maryland’s extreme anti-child, anti-woman laws that allow abortion on demand at any point in pregnancy for virtually any reason.

“Thanks to bill sponsor Del. Dean Jeffries’ and Gov. Justice’s leadership, West Virginia continues its legacy of being a state that values women and the unborn.”

“West Virginia has nearly 30 pro-life Pregnancy Resource Centers throughout the state that provide help for mothers and babies in need. We have always supported these centers, and we are happy to help provide legislation to make state funding available to them with the goal of increasing services for this population,” said Wanda Franz, Ph.D., president of West Virginians for Life.

HB 2002 also increases West Virginia’s adoption tax credit from $4,000 to $5,000 and states that adopted children are eligible for early interventions services, including Birth To Three and Right From The Start.

The West Virginia law is the latest example of the post-Dobbs trend in which pro-life states are advancing measures to support moms. State legislatures across the country are currently considering bills to allocate dollars for pregnancy help centers, eliminate sales tax on baby items, create childcare tax credits, extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, and support pregnant women and new mothers in a variety of other ways.