The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 19, 2013

Pro-lifers hold rally at Capitol

Groups support bill to ban abortions after 21 weeks

By Mannix Porterfield
Register-Herald Reporter

CHARLESTON — Pro-life forces rallied inside the West Virginia Capitol Monday, hoping to muster support for a bill to forbid abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy on grounds the unborn child can then feel pain.

A number of lawmakers donned the familiar red roses on their lapels, signifying support for the annual appearance by West Virginians for Life at the session.

Two bills of interest to the group are before the Legislature, the chief of which would outlaw abortions after the 21st week, explained Lorrie Legursky of Beckley, representing the Raleigh County chapter of the state group.

Kayla Kessinger of Mount Hope, also in the Raleigh County chapter, said a fetus can feel and respond to pain “at a more intense level than we do as adults.”

Legursky said 55 million children have been aborted since Roe v. Wade became of the law of the land 40 years ago — more than all the casualties of wars the U.S. has been involved in.

“It’s hard to imagine,” said Legursky.

Wanda Franz, president of the state group, said a second bill sought by her organization addresses the insurance exchange under the federal Affordable Health Care Act.

“We believe the people in West Virginia do not want their tax dollars to be used in insurance exchanges to pay for abortions through insurance programs,” she said.

“So, we want to pass the bill that would prevent that from happening. West Virginians don’t want their tax dollars to pay for killing innocent, unborn children.”

Pro-abortion groups argue that a woman’s right to choose should never been compromised by any law at any level of government.

“We can understand what they’re saying about their own bodies, but this involves something that’s a different entity from their bodies,” Legursky said.

“This is a child. They (women) had a choice at the moment of conception to make a decision whether or whether or not to have unprotected sex.”

Legursky said another argument doesn’t hold water, the element of rape, since only 1 percent of pregnancies result from such assaults.

“The baby’s life is a life of its own,” she said. “That baby had no choice.”

— E-mail: