Washington – On Friday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that he had signed a bill into law that forbids almost all abortions, with the exception of those performed in certain medical emergencies, cases of rape, or incest.
After the US Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, West Virginia became the second state to approve a restricted abortion law when the GOP-led legislature passed House Bill 302 on Tuesday at a special session.
The prohibition is effective right away, and the law’s criminal penalties won’t kick in for 90 days.
For adults, HB 302 permits exceptions for rape or incest cases up to eight weeks of pregnancy, and for minors, the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. At least 48 hours before to the abortion, the incident must be reported to the police.
Additionally, it permits exceptions in cases of nonviability of the embryo or foetus, medical emergencies, or ectopic pregnancies—rare situations in which the fertilised egg implants outside the uterus and is unable to survive.
Republican Justice stated at a news conference on Friday morning, “I’ve done precisely what I said I would do. I’ve signed it.
Justice stated, “I’m delighted to have signed it and I wholeheartedly feel that it accomplishes one extremely crucial task: it protects life.”
The failure of lawmakers to agree on important aspects of HB 302 in July caused it to stall. Abortion rights supporters criticised lawmakers for deciding to outlaw abortion “after weeks of deliberations behind closed doors” this week when the assembly reconvened.
Abortion has been allowed in West Virginia up to 20 weeks of pregnancy since July, when a state court judge signalled her decision to overturn the state’s 18th-century abortion ban.
Justice convened a special session of the legislature that month and, at the last minute, put abortion to the agenda.
Justice stated on Friday, “I reiterated over and over again that I stand passionately for life. “However, I also stressed that we must have rational, reasonable, and justifiable exclusions.”
And I firmly believe that they provided us with a number of justifiable and rational exceptions. With all of that said, this bill is extremely unstable. People who are travelling, he said, “on either side, are probably not going to get everything and whatever they desired.
A felony and up to 10 years in prison would apply to anyone who conducts an abortion without being a licenced medical professional.
Miscarriages, stillbirths, in vitro fertilisation, and medical procedures that result in the unintended or accidental death of a pregnancy are not, according to the law, deemed abortions. The sale and use of contraceptives are not prohibited by law. Abortion providers are required to report abortions and to inform the parent of a minor before an abortion is carried out.
Medical emergencies, which do not include psychological or emotional conditions, are defined as “conditions or circumstances that so complicate a patient’s medical condition as to require an abortion to avert serious risk of the patient’s death or serious risk of substantial life-threatening physical impairment of a major bodily function.”
The director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Alisa Clements, asserted that the law “would be devastating for the people of our state.”
According to Clements, it will be very challenging for persons in vulnerable situations, such as adolescents and sexual assault survivors, to obtain the care they require because of the bill’s few and strictly regulated exclusions.
There have been more comments and historical context added to this tale.