When West Virginia’s legislature voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation in March, West Virginia Democrats overwhelmingly backed the ban, deliberately defying the national party’s support of abortion rights.
“I have no more confidence in Planned Parenthood than I do in Adolf Hitler,” said state Sen. Mike Fair in response to a new poll showing public support for legal abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Reproductive rights advocates in Texas have filed another challenge to abortion restrictions in the state, while federal courts in Arizona and Alabama consider similar challenges.
On Tuesday, the Mississippi legislature approved a ban on abortion at 20 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period, with no exceptions for rape or incest, despite the fact that the state’s only abortion clinic only performs abortions up to 16 weeks.
Last Friday, Tomblin vetoed the bill, HB 4588, which resembles legislation passed and later blocked by courts in Arizona, Georgia, and Idaho.
The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation on Wednesday, advancing the bill to the state senate and making South Carolina one of three states that are actively pursuing such a ban this year.
A decision from Arkansas reinforces fetal viability as a constitutional bright line for abortion restrictions, even as more early abortion bans pass in the states.
The Mississippi Senate amended a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation to move the cutoff two weeks earlier, to 18 weeks. The bill will now return to the state house for consideration.
As West Virginia’s governor considers whether to sign that state’s new 20-week abortion ban, he might also consider how the work of discredited doctor Byron Calhoun influenced the bill’s passage.
Slowly but surely pregnant workers are gaining more workplace protections, but Congress still needs to act.