W.Va. governor signs law requiring doctors to help babies born alive after abortion

Jim Justice
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signs the House Bill 4007, also called The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, at the State Capitol in Charleston on Monday, March 2, 2020. |

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill Monday that requires abortionists and doctors to provide medical care for babies who survive an abortion.

At a ceremonial event held at the Governor’s Reception Room in Charleston, Justice signed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act into law.

In a statement released Monday, Justice referred to the legislation, which passed the Senate and House with overwhelming support, as “an absolute no-brainer as far as I’m concerned.”

“I’ve said for a long time, even back before I took office as governor, that I would support measures like this because every human life — born or unborn — is precious and truly a gift from God,” he said.

“It’s unbelievable that we even have to go through this process for something that seems like it’s just common sense. But at the same time, we should be really proud that we’re defending the lives of our most vulnerable. To God above, that baby is worth it.”

West Virginians for Life President Wanda Franz celebrated the news, telling that she was thankful for the passage of the bill.

“This new law puts teeth in our state legal system to make it possible to report and prosecute these cases. The people of West Virginia want these infants to be protected,” she stated.

The measure was not without its critics, among them being Dr. Jen Villavicencio of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, an organization that has advocated for abortion on demand and abortion for minors without parental consent. 

Villavicencio told the Register-Herald Reporter in January that she was concerned about how the legislation would be enforced if enacted.

“I'm worried about how it's going to be interpreted and what's going to happen … if someone delivers a very early pre-term infant,” said Villavicencio. “There's no chance of resuscitation, but is somebody going to say that maybe there was? Even though scientifically that's not the case?”

Last year, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a similar bill in his state, arguing that the legislation was not needed given preexisting law.

“It’s important to protect the lives of all children, and laws already exist to protect newborn babies,” Cooper said at the time.

“Instead of passing unnecessary legislation for political purposes we need to move on from divisive social issues and focus on the needs of North Carolina families: education, health care and good-paying jobs.”   

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