W. Virginia Closer to Banning Abortions after 20 Weeks


West Virginia's House of Representatives has passed legislation that bans abortion after 20 weeks.

The bill known as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed 79-17 Wednesday with support from some Democrats.

The measure blocks late-term abortions unless a woman has life threatening complications or has suffered permanent physical damage.

"After the point of 20 weeks in the pregnancy there is medical evidence that shows an unborn child can feel pain," Delegate Tim Armstead, R-District 40, said.

"So, most states have looked at this idea of when a child feels pain and they've decided that abortions should not be performed after that, except for in situations where the life of the mother may be in jeopardy," he added.

Opponents argue that the bill takes medical options away from women. But pro-lifers in the state point out there are medical exemptions if the mother's life is in danger.

The bill now heads to the West Virginia state senate.

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