State Passes New Law Banning Most Abortions

( West Virginia became the latest state to ban all abortions with only limited exceptions after state lawmakers passed a new bill earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the bill passed through the state House by a vote of 77-17 and through the state Senate by a vote of 22-7. The only thing that stands in the way from the bill becoming law is a signature from Republican Governor Jim Justice.

The new West Virginia bill would ban abortion except in cases if the fetus or embryo is considered non-viable, if an emergency medical condition exists or if the pregnancy is ectopic.

The only exception that allows for voluntary abortion is if the pregnancy was caused by assault or incest. And even in this case, the abortion must be performed within eight weeks of fertilization if the mother is an adult, and within 14 weeks if the mother is a minor.

The bill would also charge people criminally if someone performs an abortion either at a location that isn’t approved or does so without having a proper medical license.

In July, a judge blocked a state ban on abortions that was in place from back in the 19th century, but was set to go in effect once the Supreme Court overturned the Roe decision. That allowed the only abortion clinic in the state to resume its services, as abortions were only banned after 20 weeks.

This new bill, if signed into law by the governor as expected, would replace that law. This bill essentially clarifies the conflicting two laws that were on the books but also goes much further to restrict abortions.

As such, many pro-abortion groups blasted West Virginia’s new bill. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic’s public affairs director, Alisa Clements, sent out a statement on Tuesday that read:

“There is nothing more extreme than a law that strips people of the freedom to govern their own bodies, and our state lawmakers have shamefully forced this despicable bill down our throats, behind closed doors in a matter of hours.”

The same day West Virginia’s legislature passed their new abortion bill, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham announced a new bill that would essentially ban just about all abortions across the country after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Graham announced the bill, called the “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act,” at a press conference held on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. At the press conference, Graham commented:

“I see this as a responsible alternative to the very radical position by Democratic senators. I can assure that a vast majority of Americans do not support abortion on demand up to delivery.”

If the nationwide bill were to be passed, it’s unsure whether it would supersede local state laws that are more restrictive — or whether it would just bar states from allowing abortions after 15 weeks.

Indiana was one of the first states to pass a very restrictive new abortion law after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. And now, West Virginia has followed suit.