West Virginia legislature sends near-total abortion ban to governor's desk

If the governor signs the bill, abortions would be legal in cases of medical emergencies, rape and incest.

Updated: September 14, 2022 - 12:28pm

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The West Virginia legislature has approved a near-total abortion ban, and some Republican lawmakers hope it will shut down the state's only abortion clinic.

The bill cleared the House and the Senate on Tuesday after several hours of debate, according to the Associated Press

"It is going to shut down that abortion clinic, of that I feel certain," GOP state Sen. Robert Karnes said on the chamber floor while protesters shouted outside. "I believe it's going to save a lot of babies."

If the governor signs the bill, abortions would be legal in cases of medical emergencies, rape and incest at less than eight weeks gestation. Minors who are assaulted have until 14 weeks to obtain the procedure. 

Mminors and adults must report the assault within 48 hours of terminating the pregnancy and present a notarized letter or a copy of the police report to the medical professional before getting an abortion. 

The bill still needs to be signed by West Virginia GOP Gov. Jim Justice, who has approved several anti-abortion bills during his time in office.

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