The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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April 11, 2013

Republicans trying to amend budget proposal with pro-life amendment

CHARLESTON — Republicans tried without success Thursday to amend the budget proposal with a pro-life amendment.

The intent was to incorporate a ban on using taxpayer dollars to finance abortions if the unborn child is at least 20 weeks old.

In a roll-call vote, the measure fizzled on a 45-52 vote.

The reasoning behind the original bill is that at that age of development, a child can experience pain.

On a strictly party-line vote, the House of Delegates refused to incorporate that measure into the budget.

Among those voting for it were Delegates Ray Canterbury; R-Greenbrier, Joe Ellington, Marty Gearheart and John Shott, all R-Mercer; John O’Neal, Linda Sumner, and Karen Arvon, all R-Raleigh; and Roy Cooper, R-Summers.

Opposition votes cast included these southern lawmakers:

Delegates Dave Perry, John Pino and Margaret Staggers, all D-Fayette and Linda Goode Phillips, D-Wyoming.

Delegate Rick Moye, D-Raleigh, missed the vote, although he was on the floor for most of the afternoon session.

Freshman Delegate Josh Nelson, R-Boone, left the Legislature recently after being called up by the National Guard.

The amendment was based on a measure West Virginians for Life highlighted in its annual pro-life rally at the Capitol.

One advocate, Kayla Kessinger of Mount Hope, a member of the Raleigh County chapter, said an unborn child can feel pain at the age of 20 weeks more intensely than an adult.

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

 

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