In a defiant video West Virginia Republican Governor Jim Justice Friday announced he has signed into law legislation news outlets have described as a “strict,” and “near-total abortion ban.”
“It is done, it is absolutely done,” Gov. Justice declared, repeatedly insisting the bill’s exceptions are “reasonable and logical.”
The Mountain State Spotlight reports the new law “will ban almost every abortion in the state,” and says the legislation makes “elective abortions extremely difficult to get in West Virginia – and even medically necessary abortions won’t be easy.”
It also reports the new law, which is in effect immediately, provides criminal penalties for those performing abortions that could include years in prison.
During debate this week one Republican state Senator expressed outrage that the bill, he said, did not go far enough, and blasted the anti-abortion lobbying group behind it for allowing it to include exceptions for rape and incest.
“I’ve heard arguments, if you go out in a burning building and you can save almost all the children but not all of them would you do it?” Sen. Eric Tarr, a doctor, said, adding: “I’d burn the building.”
No West Virginia news outlets reported on Sen. Tarr’s gruesome argument (video here).
Another Republican, state Sen. Robert Karnes said he voted for the bill because “it is going to shut down that abortion clinic.”
There was just one remaining facility performing abortions in West Virginia. WSAZ reports the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia closed down for good on Wednesday, just one day after the bill passed and was sent to the governor’s desk.
Noting that the new law “allows for abortion in only narrow circumstances, including a medical emergency, a non-viable pregnancy and limited cases of rape and incest,” WSAZ adds: “Any abortion permitted in those situations must be performed by a medical doctor or osteopath and take place inside of a state-licensed facility, such as a hospital. The physician also must have hospital admitting privileges in state.”
“I believe that maneuver, more than anything else that we’ve done, is what’s going to shut down the abortion clinic here in West Virginia, and it’s the only one that we have, and so I believe that it is going to save a lot of babies,” Sen. Karnes added.
Watch Gov. Justice below or at this link.