- The Washington Times - Friday, March 11, 2016

The West Virginia legislature overrode Thursday the veto of Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to ban “dismemberment” abortion procedures in the state.

The banned procedure, which involves dilation and evacuation, is the most common method of abortion for pregnancies in their second trimester. But pro-life advocates argue the technique is cruel, pointing out that the unborn child is still alive for the dismemberment and may feel pain.

National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch said awareness about the procedure “has the potential to transform the debate when people realize that living unborn children are being killed by being torn limb from limb.”

“When abortion textbooks describe in cold, explicit detail exactly how to kill a human being by ripping off arms and legs piece by piece, civilized members of society have no choice but to stand up and demand a change,” she said. “When you think it can’t be uglier, the abortion industry continues to shock with violent methods of abortion.”

The bill requires doctors to bring about the “death and demise” of the fetus before dismemberment.

Doctors and advocates who opposed the bill said dilation and evacuation is the safest way to perform abortions after 13 weeks of gestation.

“We’re saying now that the safest procedure cannot be used,” Democratic Sen. Corey Palumbo, who opposed the measure, said at a committee hearing. “We’re requiring them to do the more dangerous, the more difficult and, sometimes, impossible procedure.”

The law will go into effect in May if it goes unchallenged. Courts have struck down similar laws as unconstitutional in Kansas and Oklahoma.

West Virginia becomes the third state to enact such a law.

The state’s legislature last year overrode Mr. Tomblin’s veto on a 20-week abortion ban.

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