By Mannix Porterfield
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.
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